Press Releases

Posted: October 2, 2017

On Saturday, September 23, Hope International University presented the 2017 Spirit of Hope Concert & Awards Gala, hosting more than 600 alumni and friends in the Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel for a sparkling evening of celebration, inspiration, and philanthropy. This year, the University’s annual signature event raised over $160,000 toward student scholarships, highlighting Hope’s ongoing impact, and honoring individuals and organizations that exemplify the “Spirit of Hope.”

The Spirit of Hope Award was presented to longtime HIU Trustee, Richard Lukas, who has served on the Board for 28 years, including the Facilities Committee during the construction of the Lawson-Fulton Student Center; the Board’s Finance Committee; and during last year’s merger of Hope International University and Nebraska Christian College. Cal Jernigan (BA ‘78) and Dennis Shelby (BA ‘76) both received the Distinguished Alumni Award. Alumna Kelly Galligan (BA ’10) was awarded HIU’s Distinguished Young Alumni Award.

Christ’s Church of the Valley San Dimas, First Christian Church Huntington Beach, and University Christian Church of Los Angeles all received Philanthropic Church Awards, honoring their significant contributions to HIU over the years. The 3 churches have sacrificially supported student scholarships by going above and beyond in their giving.  These churches, since 2010, have given a combined total of over $1,000,000 as an investment in students. 

In addition to President Derry’s “State of the University Address” and inspiring student testimonials, Gala guests enjoyed the comedy of Michael Jr., who has been on The Tonight show on NBC, Jimmy Kimmel live, and Comedy Central. The comedian shared jokes as well as inspiring stories on spreading joy to unlikely places with his Christian comedic act. The HIU Praise Choir and Praise Team also performed during the evening’s festivities, under the direction of Dr. Joseph Cho.

A deep and sincere thank you goes out to all of HIU’s avid and generous supports who make it possible for students to attend and earn their degree at Hope. The impact of their investment cannot truly be measured this side of eternity!