Date: April 22, 2010
The overcast skies didn’t dampen the excitement of graduates, eager to hold their diploma, on graduation Sunday, May 2. Altogether, 588 students—undergraduate and graduate, both affiliate and main campus—marked the formal completion of their degree from Andrews University. Barry Black, chaplain to the United States Senate and His Excellency the Most Honorable Sir Patrick L. Allen, governor-general of Jamaica, were among the featured speakers for the Andrews University graduation weekend April 30–May 2, 2010. Both men were also awarded honorary degrees.
David Ferguson, director of the Undergraduate Leadership Program at Andrews University, offered the Consecration address on Friday, April 30. His presentation, “Upside Down,” reminded departing grads one more time of the mission of Andrews University, which is marked on the globe near the entrance to campus. “I don't know if it's a coincidence, but the last thing you'll see when you exit this campus on Sunday or Monday are the words ‘Change the World’...” said Ferguson.
On Saturday, May 1, José V. Rojas, director for the Office of Volunteer Ministries for the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, presented, “You are the Light of the World” as the Baccalaureate address for both the graduate and undergraduate services at Pioneer Memorial Church. Without any notes, and using his Bible app on his iPhone, Rojas’ message was a highlight of the weekend culminating in a standing ovation during the Undergraduate Baccalaureate Service. Among the many bits of wisdom Rojas shared with the departing graduates was this: “If you give this degree to God, your degree will light up the world and glorify your God in heaven.”
Several departmental services were held in various locations Friday and Saturday, including the Teacher Dedication Service, the Department of Nursing Pinning Ceremony, the Seminary Dedication Service, the Department of Religion Dedication service, the Department of Nutrition & Wellness Pinning and the Department of Social Work Graduation Recognition Service.
Saturday evening, May 1, a Sabbath Vespers tribute to parents, faculty and students was held at Pioneer Memorial Church. During the vespers, the Class of 2010 presented their class gift: the Campus Center Outdoor Entry & Patio Lighting Project. Four lampposts stand outside of the Campus Center as pillars of knowledge, faith, Christ-centered change and light. Immediately following vespers, graduates and their families were invited to the President’s Reception in the lobby of the Howard Performing Arts Center.
|Darren Heslop (BFA '10) receives his diploma from President Niels-Erik Andreasen. |
(Photo by IMC student photographer Katelin Mitchell)
On Graduation Sunday, May 2, Barry Black, chaplain to the United States Senate, was the Graduate Commencement speaker. His address, “Walking Upright in a Fallen World” highlighted the importance of God’s Word. “If you’re going to walk upright in a fallen world, you must respect God’s Word.” Black, an Andrews alum, was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity for his lifelong commitment to the service of God and country. Black is the first African-American, the first Seventh-day Adventist and the first military chaplain to hold the office. He served in the U.S. Navy for over 27 years before moving to Capitol Hill in 2003. He attended Andrews University and received a Master of Divinity in 1973 from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary.
His Excellency the Most Honorable Sir Patrick L. Allen, governor-general of Jamaica, was the speaker for Undergraduate Commencement. Sir Patrick Allen’s address was entitled “Plus Ultra.” To the graduating students he gave this piece of advice: “You need to decide whether you are the part of the group that acts, or are merely those who are actors....Make the decision to go further. Go and change the world!”
Sir Patrick Allen is the first Seventh-day Adventist to be appointed to the high position of governor-general of Jamaica. He is the sixth person and fifth Jamaican to hold the office since independence in 1962. He has served the Seventh-day Adventist Church in many positions, including those as a schoolteacher, principal, pastor, director, conference president and union president. He earned a PhD in educational administration and supervision from Andrews University in 1998. For his lifelong contributions to the field of education and his commitment to the service of his God and his country, Sir Patrick Allen was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws.
Upon receiving the honorary degree, Sir Patrick Allen said, “Receiving this distinguished recognition is certainly one of the high points of my life. My family and I...we can go nowhere without wearing the banner of Andrews University.”
Two faculty members were honored for their commitment to Adventist education with a John Nevins Andrews Medallion. This award recognizes significant achievement in the advancement of knowledge and education by Seventh-day Adventist teachers, scholars and writers. David Arthur Steen, professor of biology, was honored for his contributions to the field of biology. He has been a member of the Andrews faculty since 1986. Gary Gene Land, professor of history, was honored for his contributions to the field of history. Land, who is retiring this year, has been a member of the Andrews faculty since 1970.
-Written by Keri Suarez, media relations specialist, Office of Integrated Marketing & Communication