Commencement speaker will discuss values and faith

Two of Eastern’s most generous supporters will be speaking at commencement.

Terri Klaassen will speak at the graduate commencement on May 14. Her husband Paul Klaassen will speak at the undergraduate commencement that same day.

The Klaassens are the founders of Sunrise Senior Living, a network of retirement communities.

They have donated generously to Eastern in the past, including giving money toward the Jammin’ Java and the library.

Terri plans to discuss how new graduates can best succeed not necessarily materially but also spiritually after college.

“I will touch on our values, and on what we are passionate about,” she said.

For Terri, these values should encompass all of life.

“We have a tendency to separate our faith and values from our professional lives,” she said. “But it’s one and the same; we should be living our lives in a consistent way.”

This is what the Klaassens have tried to do in their personal and professional lives.

“We strive to make sure both our faith values and our lives are consistent,” Terri said.

According to their daughter, senior Christin Klaassen, they have succeeded.

“They have blended the two amazingly,” she said. “My mother is highly qualified to talk on that subject.”

Christin hopes to emulate her parents.

“I hope that I have already begun to do that,” she said. “It’s the key to any success.”

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