On Saturday, May 8, Azusa Pacific graduate and undergraduate students participated in the university's 100th commencement ceremony since first formal ceremony at APU's predecessor, the Training School for Christian Workers. With more than 1,300 graduates and several thousand friends and family members in attendance there was an excitement and anticipation in the air.
At 9 a.m. more than 600 graduate and doctoral students heard from keynote speaker Lee G. Noel, Ph.D., a higher education consultant, who has worked with more than 400 colleges and universities on enrollment and retention effectiveness.
In the evening, about 600 undergraduate walked across the stage to receive their long-awaited diploma. Just before lining up to cross the stage, they heard from keynote speaker Raul Reis. Reis pastors a congregation of more than 14,000 at Calvary Chapel Golden Springs in Diamond Bar, Calif., and can be heard on more than 350 radio stations on his program Somebody Loves You.
Reis spoke about the need to be the people who are not carnal, but are always listening for what God wants for them. He exhorted the class to be looking for the will of God in their lives in each of their lives and to be Christ-followers out in the world. APU President Jon Wallace, DBA, presented an honorary doctorate to Reis in divinity for his work in the world for Christ.
The graduating class also heard from fellow graduate and Student Government Association president Tyler Prieb '10. Prieb talked about growth beyond college and the incredible path each person has ahead of them.
Graduation is a special time for both students and their families. It is a time to celebrate and remember the time they have spent at APU furthering their education and building relationships, many of which will last a lifetime. It was a time of joy, exhilaration, and completion, with each student preparing for what the future may bring and the path that they may take.