Gilead Graduates Its 28th Class
ON FEBRUARY 3, 1957, one hundred and five students were graduated from the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead. There were forty-seven non-Americans in the class, who came from twenty-one countries. The student body of men and women ranged in age from twenty to fifty-nine. Some were married couples, others were single. Within five and a half months they mastered as much material as the average college requires a year to cover.
To witness the graduation exercises were friends and relatives who came from eighteen states and three provinces of Canada. There were persons present from Oklahoma and California, and a special bus brought forty-one eager witnesses from Montreal.
On Saturday night N. H. Knorr, president of Gilead school and of the Watch Tower Society, conducted the weekly Watchtower study, which was followed by a musical program by a number of students. President Knorr then concluded the program by relating high lights from his recent trip to Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
The Sunday morning program began at 9 a.m. with song and prayer. Kingdom Farm manager John Markus and the four instructors, Karl Adams, Harold Jackson, Maxwell Friend and registrar A. D. Schroeder, gave the graduates departing words of counsel.
Markus advised the graduating twenty-eighth class to work or plow in hope in their missionary fields, so as to be partakers of the harvest. (1 Cor. 9:10) Jackson told the class to let their boasting be, not, I have been to Gilead, but in the right fruits that Gilead training will help them produce. (2 Cor. 1:12-14) Adams counseled the students to keep their joy alive. ‘Whatever you do, do it whole-souled as to Jehovah,’ he said. (Eph. 6:6-8) Friend encouraged all to carry on with the highest education, which is fulfilling the perfect law. (Matt. 22:37-39) Registrar Schroeder lovingly urged the students to remain steadfast to their dedication, that five elements would help them: be joyful, be restored, be comforted, have unity and live peaceably.
Now it was time to hear from Gilead’s president N. H. Knorr, who spoke on “Are You Qualified to Teach?” based on the scripture at 2 Timothy 2:24. “There is no end to learning,” he said. “You must always seek knowledge from Jehovah, always be learners. But you must always be teachers at the same time.” He encouraged the students to “keep humble, meek and instruct in mildness.” He assured the new missionaries that Jehovah God would back them up even though this wicked system of things would bring opposition and persecution upon them.
After the talk the students filed up to receive their diplomas and to learn where they would be sent. They were assigned to thirty-three lands, which include Bolivia, Liberia, Puerto Rico, Mauritius, Cyprus, Honduras, North Borneo, Gold Coast, Lebanon, Canada, India, Venezuela, Morocco, Paraguay, Belgium, Hawaii, France, Northern Rhodesia, British Guiana, Panama, Peru, Brazil, West Germany, Nicaragua, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Eire, Newfoundland, Nyasaland, Chile, the United States and Austria.
In the afternoon, during a one-hour program, students gave warm expressions of their appreciation and personal experiences from the platform. This was a lovely climax to a heart-warming winter graduation for the 2,154 that attended the exercises.