University News

Spring 2016 Commencement Celebrates HIU's Largest Graduating Class

Posted: May 16, 2016

FULLERTON, CA :: On Saturday, May 14, 2016, Hope International University proudly conferred degrees upon 202 undergraduate and graduate students who successfully completed their chosen course of study. The Class of 2016 marks the largest graduating class in HIU’s 88-year history. Drawn from the student body of over 2,000 students representing 31 states and more than 25 countries, these graduates now join over 9,000 alumni who carry HIU’s legacy of service and ministry to locations across the globe.

Undergraduate student speaker Cecilia Nava encouraged her fellow graduates that “you do not have to earn God’s acceptance or approval.” Kevin Cowell, graduate of HIU’s online program, quoted C.S. Lewis, “You are never too old to set a new goal or dream a new dream.” Graduate student speaker Karl Romero thanked God for leading him to HIU to earn a Master’s Degree, and challenged the Class of 2016 to become a beacon of hope to whomever they encounter.

Commencement address speaker Cal Jernigan (BA ’78) urged the graduates to “live daringly,” recounting the inspiring true story of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton who ventured on dangerous explorations throughout his lifetime. Pastor Jernigan challenged the students to shun an insulated, risk-averse, boring life, stating, “God will take you beyond what you can imagine, but do not fear the unknown” in reference to 1 Corinthians 2:9. He concluded his address by reminding the audience that “Today the trip begins; don’t miss the adventure!”

Jernigan has served as Senior Pastor at Central Christian Church in Mesa, Arizona, since 1999, a vibrant church of over 10,000 congregants. He and wife Lisa have two children, both of whom are also HIU alumni.

This was HIU’s 101st Commencement Ceremony and marks Hope International University’s 42nd academic year in Fullerton, where the University diligently maintains its commitment to advance the mission of Christ by empowering students through Christian higher education.

HIU streamed the Spring 2016 Commencement ceremony live online. To view the video archive on demand, click here.


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