2016 Commencement Speaker
CPT executive director named 2016 commencement speaker
BLUFFTON, Ohio—A powerful speaker, who made a meaningful impact on students, faculty and staff members in January, will return to campus in May as the 2016 Bluffton University commencement speaker. President James Harder announced during Monday’s Faculty meeting that Sarah Thompson, executive director of Christian Peacemaker Teams, will address the graduating class during the May 8 ceremony in the Sommer Center.
Many students are familiar with Thompson, as she gave the 2016 Martin Luther King Jr. Day Forum titled, “Moving Toward Conflict.” Along with the Forum presentation, Thompson spent four days on campus challenging the community to follow the call of Martin Luther King Jr. to become creatively maladjusted.
Thompson was named the executive director of CPT in Jan. 2014. She travels extensively for the organization to build partnerships to transform violence and oppression. Thompson has also worked in the international peace movement as a public speaker and community organizer.
Her Christian church involvements include six years of volunteer work as the North American representative to Mennonite World Conference's Youth and Young Adult Executive Committee and Global Youth Summit planning group, as well as service with Mennonite Central Committee in Jerusalem, Washington, D.C. advocacy office and in her hometown of Elkhart, Ind.
Thompson has traveled across various continents through activist and volunteer work with feminist anti-war movements, Spanish translation opportunities, the Fulbright Scholarship and Spelman College—where she graduated in 2006 with a Comparative Women's Studies and International Studies double major. She earned a Masters of Divinity from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in 2011.