TIFFIN, Ohio – Rev. Kenneth Daniel, president and CEO of United Church Homes, received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Heidelberg University as part of the university’s 166th commencement exercises Sunday, May 12.
Rev. Daniel has a connection with Heidelberg. In addition to United Church Homes providing internship opportunities for Heidelberg students, he has twice served as a guest lecturer in the Philanthropy and American Society honors seminar co-taught by President Robert H. Huntington and history professor Dr. David Hogan each fall semester.
A day earlier, Rev. Daniel delivered the keynote sermon, titled “Salt and Light: So What?,” at Heidelberg’s interfaith baccalaureate ceremony.
During his commencement sermon, Rev. Daniel wove together messages from readings from Exodus 3:1 – 12, Galatians 5:13 – 17 and 22 – 25 and Matthew 5:13 – 16, focusing on this passage from Matthew: “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it under the bushel basket but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
Rev. Daniel’s key message to the members of the class of 2019 was to be the light of the world.
“Let your light shine,” he told them. “Let the world see the best you have to offer … let the world experience that unique and passionate energy that comes from your experience at Heidelberg.
“You are part of the Heidelberg legacy to make the world a better place. Go be the salt. Go be the light and let it shine brightly.”
United Church Homes, headquartered in Marion, Ohio, has been “Celebrating the Spirit” of older adults for more than a century. The faith-inspired nonprofit organization is one of the nation’s largest providers of senior living services, with more than 1,800 dedicated staff serving nearly 5,000 residents of all faiths in 75 senior living communities throughout 14 states and two Native American nations. UCH is in covenant with the United Church of Christ and welcomes residents of all faiths.
In all, 208 undergraduates received bachelor’s degrees in arts, science or music, and 59 graduate students received master’s degrees in counseling, education and business administration.