The Hon. Kimberly J. Mueller, federal judge for the Eastern District of California, quoted from Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” as she addressed the 94 members of Bethel’s Class of 2011 at the college’s 118th commencement, held May 22 in the afternoon.
“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood … I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
She echoed the tone set in the morning baccalaureate worship service, based on words of Jeremiah 29, James 2 and William Jennings Bryan and centered on making choices.
The three student speakers in the service, all graduating seniors, touched on different ways their choices had led them to Bethel, shaped their college experiences and determined what they would take with them into the world.
“‘Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved,’” said Caleb Stephens, Lawrence. “I believe this quote was placed by God, scribed by William Jennings Bryan and spoken directly into my heart. [When I first arrived at Bethel], never, ever would I or anyone who knew me have imagined I would be asked to speak at baccalaureate. But I find that throughout my four years here, I have developed into someone people care about and trust.” …
A few hours later under sunny skies in Thresher Stadium, Mueller expanded on her topic of “Making All the Difference.”
Sworn in Dec. 21, 2010, Mueller is the first woman to be appointed federal judge for the Eastern District of California. She grew up in Grinnell, Iowa, although she was born in Newton and spent her earliest years in North Newton while her parents, Ted and Berneil Rupp Mueller, were finishing studies at Bethel.