Summer Graduation August 2019

   Campus News | Posted on December 4, 2019

Andrews University’s summer graduation will take place August 2–4, 2019. The weekend’s central events begin Friday evening with the Consecration service, continue Saturday morning with the Baccalaureate services and conclude Sunday with the Commencement services. All services will take place at the Howard Performing Arts Center unless otherwise noted. Overflow seating for the Baccalaureate and Commencement services is available in the Seminary Chapel. Please note that in order to provide more seating for families of graduates, Commencement seating in the Howard Performing Arts Center is by ticket only.

Additional recognition and dedication programs are planned for Friday and Saturday. Consult the online schedule for a complete listing at

Elvin S. Gabriel, professor of educational psychology and counselor education, will present the Consecration address, “Fulfilling God’s Plan for Your Life,” on Friday, August 2, at 8 p.m.

Gabriel began working at Andrews University in 1997 as a professor in the Department of Graduate Psychology & Counseling. Prior to this, he served as department chair and faculty dean at Caribbean Union College (now the University of the Southern Caribbean) located in Trinidad and Tobago, his home country. He has resided in the Berrien Springs area for the past 22 years with his wife Cressida, a career teacher/educator.

On Saturday, August 3, O.M. “Skip” Bell, professor emeritus of church leadership, will offer the Baccalaureate address for both the 9 a.m. service (for graduates of the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Education & International Services and the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary) and the 11:45 a.m. service (for graduates of the College of Health & Human Services and the College of Professions). His presentation is titled “In Case You Didn’t Get it.”

Bell holds a Master of Divinity from Andrews University and a Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. He has served the church as pastor, departmental director, administrator and a university professor. Dedicated to the vision of a growing church, Bell is especially interested in issues of church leadership, urban ministry and church planting. A published author, he has also contributed over 35 academic and professional articles and several curriculums for professional pastoral development. Bell founded the Center for Christian Leadership at Andrews University and launched the Journal of Applied Christian Leadership. He has also served as a member of the Academy of Religious Leadership and the Association for Doctor of Ministry Education. Bell counts time with his wife, Joni, and family as one of his greatest joys and loves just about any pursuit that involves outdoor activity.

A vespers program will take place in the Howard Performing Arts Center at 8:30 p.m. on August 3. Immediately following vespers, there will be a President’s Reception for graduating students and their parents in the Howard Performing Arts Center lobby.

On Sunday, August 4, Edwin I. Hernández, president of AdventHealth University, will speak for the 8:30 a.m. Commencement service (for graduates of the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Education & International Services and Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary). He will also speak for the 11:30 a.m. Commencement service (for graduates of the College of Health & Human Services and College of Professions). His address is titled “Smoking Angels, a Tow Truck, and Compassion.”

Born in Glendale, California, Hernández grew up in a Christian family committed to education as the answer to serving the world and making a difference. Hernández holds degrees from Loma Linda University, the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University and the University of Notre Dame. Throughout his career, he has served as a chaplain, faculty member, vice president of academic affairs, program officer, founding director and senior program officer. Hernández is an avid scholar and writer, having authored and contributed to five books and more than 60 articles and reports. As an ordained minister since 1991, Hernández is a leader in the Adventist faith, with a special interest in its impact on healthcare. Maggie, his wife of more than 30 years, is an adjunct professor of nutrition at AdventHealth University. They have two adult sons, Edwin Jr. and Michael.

Erland Pettman, honorary degree candidate, will be honored at the 11:30 a.m. Commencement service. Pettman has contributed extensively to the field of physical therapy and has dedicated years to teaching and mentorship of physical therapy students. In 1988, he founded the North American Institute of Manual Therapy (NAIOMT), an internationally recognized and esteemed organization whose aim is to teach and develop advanced manual therapy skills to physical therapists within the United States and, more recently, across the globe. In 2003, Andrews University was fortunate to partner with the NAIOMT organization when Pettman agreed to become the clinical director for the Doctor of Science in Physical Therapy program. Pettman is a model scholar and has volunteered his time for multiple causes. He exemplifies the professor who will do anything in order to teach the physical therapist how to improve at treating people the right way, the whole body and as real people.

Select graduation services will be livestreamed. For details, visit