Honoring graduates and our leaders during commencement is especially important this year as the 2019 graduating class marks the end of Life Pacific College.
Commencement ceremonies almost always focus on graduates, and so they should. At Life Pacific however, traditions of graduation often include recognition of dedicated men and women who invest in the lives of students as they prepare to receive their diplomas.
This year, we celebrated 159 graduates, a near-record number, across all programs and campuses, the most in seven decades.
Prior to commencement, tradition holds that we conduct a Baccalaureate service focused on commissioning our graduates to live lives aligned with God’s call. Ten graduates from Life Pacific campus programs led the congregation in worship during this year’s service and helped turn the hearts of graduates and their guests to Jesus Christ in full surrender.
Faculty members from their respective programs selected this year’s Baccalaureate class speakers. They included Brittany Holbert representing undergraduate students, and Ken Worley who spoke on behalf of graduate students.
At the conclusion of Baccalaureate, Foursquare President Glenn Burris led families, faculty, staff, board members, area pastors and friends of the college in a time of prayer. Fervent intercession filled the Hicks Center in San Dimas and graduates were commissioned to live fully devoted lives for Christ.
The following day, an air of joy permeated historic Angelus Temple in Los Angeles, the birthplace of Life Pacific College, as 121 students received their diplomas. They walked across the same stage where hundreds of others before them have received their diplomas – a legacy of Foursquare higher education dating back 90 years to the days of our founder Aimee Semple McPherson.
In all, Life Pacific College awarded 30 master degrees, 108 bachelor degrees, and 21 associate degrees representing all programs and campuses. Twenty-four of those received their diplomas during commencement ceremonies at our Virginia campus.
Past Life Pacific presidents and members of the college board of trustees presented retiring president Dr. Jim J. Adams with a ceremonial key to the campus and designated him President Emeritus in recognition of his years of faithful service to the college as a student, faculty member, administrator and president.
Former president and long time faculty member, Dr. Dan Stewart was awarded the designation of Faculty Emeritus for his three decades of faithful service in numerous roles at the college.
Dr. Michael Salmeier, who will assume full professorial duties this fall was honored for his years serving as vice president of academic affairs and one of the leading advocates and perhaps chief architect of Life Pacific’s transition to university status.
As Life Pacific College becomes Life Pacific University, we celebrate the largest graduating class in 70 years. We recognize our leaders who have poured themselves into the life of this institution so that future students will enjoy the same momentum that has marked the university for nearly 100 years.
Most of all, graduates, faculty and staff are the first to honor the Lord of the Church as He commissions us daily to take what we have gained from our days at Life Pacific and change the world for the Kingdom of God.