University News

Celebrating the Spirit of Hope!

Posted: April 20, 2024

On Saturday, April 20, several hundred HIU supporters, friends, alumni, Student Ambassadors, and staff converged in the Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland Resort Hotel for Hope International University's annual Spirit of Hope Concert & Awards Gala. The elegant evening of celebration, inspiration, and philanthropy highlighted HIU’s ongoing mission and legacy of preparing students through Christian Higher Education to serve the Church and impact the world for Christ. The 2024 gala raised more than $160,000 towards student scholarships.

HIU President Paul H. Alexander, Ph.D. (‘84, ‘88), delivered the keynote address and unveiled the inaugural President's Alumni Servant Leader Award to Toby Yurek ('95) in honor of Toby's lifetime of exemplary public service, commitment to Christ, and support of Hope International University. Distinguished Alumni Awards were presented to Garrett Radford ('16), Kari Pel ('97), Dr. Richard Lopez ('00), Jim Price ('70), and Samuel Semanda ('18, 21). Three former student athletes were inducted into the HIU Royals Athletics Hall of Fame: Liam Hunt ('17 - Men's Basketball), Jazzmyn Esquivel ('19 - Women's Soccer), and Leigha Williams ('20 - Women's Soccer). 

A panel of Deans from each of HIU's 5 Colleges fielded questions from Dr. Steve Edgington, Vice President for Academic Affairs, sharing "A Dean's Eye View" of Christian Higher Education and highlighting the latest developments in their respective Colleges. Current HIU students David Zacarias ('24), who grew up in the Philippines, and Amy Sanchez ('25), who was born and raised in Mexico, each shared their poignant, personal testimony of how God led them to Hope, provided the financial assistance necessary for them to attend, and how HIU is equipping them for their chosen vocation. Daunte Ferguson ('23, '25) and Emma Kisaka ('25) served as the Masters of Ceremony.

Guests enjoyed musical performances by the HIU vocal ensemble, HopeSings!, as well as the HIU Worship Team, directed by alumnus and professor Matt Thompson ('03), Chair of Worship Arts. Prior to the gourmet dinner and program, guests gathered for a pre-event reception, enjoying hors d’oeuvres, live music, Student Ambassadors, and a special photo op with Mickey Mouse.

The University is deeply grateful to all of our sponsors and faithful supporters whose generous donations make it possible for students to attend HIU. Your dollars make a significant impact by allowing them to pursue and fulfill God's calling on their lives and to extend the Hope of Christ to a world that so desperately needs Him.