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Summer Graduation 2010

Date: August 5, 2010

Fifty-two countries were represented by the summer 2010 graduating class at Andrews University, held July 30–August 1, 2010. Robert P. Bartlett, president of the Michigan Colleges Foundation, was among the featured speakers for the weekend. During Sunday’s Commencement, Helen Margaret Hall, founder of Eden Valley Academy in Thailand, was honored for her lifelong commitment to the service of God with the award of an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.

Commencement festivities began Friday evening, July 30, with the consecration service in the Pioneer Memorial Church. Paul Buckley, associate dean for Student Life at Andrews University, was the featured speaker. His presentation was titled “Open Your Windows.” ‎"Graduates, speak truth to power, share the Word of God...the world so needs answers to complex problems," said Buckley.

At Sabbath morning’s Baccalaureate at Pioneer Memorial Church, Van G. Hurst, president of the Indiana Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, addressed graduates with an inspiring address titled “Think Outside the Bun.” His final charge to graduates: “My Jesus can do more than we think or's time to believe our God can do anything. Go out prepared to lift up Jesus!”

Several departmental services occupied the afternoon hours on Saturday, July 31, beginning with a Dedication Service for Seminary graduates in the Seminary Chapel. The Clinical Laboratory Sciences Certificate Ceremony was held in the Pioneer Memorial Church Youth Chapel and the Social Work Recognition Service took place in the Whirlpool Room of Chan Shun Hall.
On Saturday evening graduates gathered in Pioneer Memorial Church for a Sabbath Vespers tribute to parents. Part of the evening included the presentation of a rose from the graduates to their parents. Immediately following vespers, the President’s Reception for graduates and their families was held in the Great Lakes Room of Dining Services.
On Sunday morning, Robert P. Bartlett, president of the Michigan Colleges Foundation, addressed the graduates in Pioneer Memorial Church. Bartlett joined the Michigan Colleges Foundation (MCF) as its fifth president in September 2008. He has spent more than 20 years in higher education in a variety of academic and administrative roles including senior positions at Cornell University, University of Chicago and University of Rochester. Bartlett holds an undergraduate education from Stetson University and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Public Administration from Cornell University. He also holds an M.A.R. in Religious Studies from Yale Divinity School and conducted postdoctoral research in the Department of Education at the University of Chicago.

During his address, titled “A Transformational Brand,” Bartlett said, “I experienced a ubiquitous sense of mission when I visited here at Andrews...and I believe it has prepared you for a life of faith and have a distinct impact on the world. Andrews has prepared you to be transformational leaders and to bear fruit...fruit that will last.” 

Helen Margaret Hall was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Hall, a descendent of hardy pioneers from the Australian outback, always felt called to foreign mission service. She has dedicated virtually her entire adult life to providing Christian education, often in politically unstable areas of the world. In 1982, she requested a leave of absence from her Australian position to teach in a government school among the Karen people of Thailand. With only 80 students and a handful of poorly trained teachers, she founded Eden Valley Academy in northwest Thailand, a school that she nurtured for a quarter of a century as principal. Eden Valley Academy provides a source of education to the Karen people, a tribal group living in the foothills of the Dauna mountain range in northwest Thailand. She promotes the brightest of her students to the highest educational opportunities she can secure for them. Her graduates sit for British “O-level” exams, which qualify them to pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees, become government workers, and work for Western enterprises. Former students also become co-teachers with Hall. Her work has resulted in over 2,000 baptisms, and 600 students have become fully equipped for leadership roles in society and church. Hall has accurately been called the “Mother Teresa” to Karen youth.

-Written by Keri Suarez, media relations specialist, Office of Integrated Marketing & Communication

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