After the commencement address Esther Sousa, class president, addressed her classmates and the audience, “The college experience is about more than merely attending lectures and completing assignments. It is a combination of solidifying your identity, your likes, and your core beliefs. It showcases the parts of you that you did not know existed. It pushes you to your full potential if you allow it to,” she said. As she ended her speech, she encouraged her classmates, “Remember to take God with you wherever you go. Remember to be the light in the world that people need to see. Remember to choose kindness. Remember to love life. And remember that anything is possible when you have God on your side.”
Just before conferring degrees, Dr. Donna Berkner, vice president of academic administration, presented the Class of 2022 statistics. Out of this year’s 150 graduates, 103 are women and 47 are men; 38 are the first in their family to graduate from college; 42 have family members who graduated from SWAU; and 13 are F-1 international students representing The Bahamas, Mexico, Rwanda, Papua New Guinea, China, India, Vietnam, Haiti, and South Korea. Also, one hundred percent of this year’s class participated in more than one service project while they were students.
After sharing the graduating class statistics, Dr. Berkner asked SWAU President Ana Patterson to join her, and then she called graduate Brendon Ezra Kilanda to the stage. President Patterson and Dr. Berkner recognized Brendan with an award as Dr. Berkner explained, “We are going to recognize one student who is the first to graduate in his family. Also, this is the first degree we have ever awarded to someone from Papua New Guinea, and we want to celebrate that! The audience wholeheartedly clapped their approval for Brendon Ezra Kilanda, who earned a degree in accounting.
As the ceremony closed, Leonel Warner (’15), an alumni board member, welcomed the graduates into the fellowship of the alumni association while reminding them that they will always have a home at Southwestern Adventist University.
The faculty, staff, and students of SWAU offer best wishes to the Class of 2022 and pray over them the Mizpah prayer in remembrance of the Mizpah Gate at the campus entrance, “May the Lord keep watch between you and me when we are away from each other” (New International Version).
View pictures from the weekend by visiting our Flickr album.
Southwestern Adventist University has been offering Christ-centered education by inspiring knowledge, faith, and service in Keene, Texas, since 1893. U. S. News and World Report rank the University No. 11 overall in its 2021 Regional Colleges West rankings and No. 2 for Social Mobility. Niche ranks SWAU as one of Texas’ safest colleges. SWAU offers a uniquely diverse and personal college experience. For information, call 800-433-2240 or visit swau.edu.