Press Releases

Posted: October 2, 2019

On Saturday, September 28, 2019, Hope International University proudly presented their annual Spirit of Hope Concert & Awards Gala, hosting nearly 450 alumni and friends in the Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel for a memorable evening of celebration, inspiration, and philanthropy. The University’s annual signature event raised more than $170,000 toward student scholarships, while celebrating individuals and organizations that embody and exemplify the “Spirit of Hope.”

This year’s Gala emphasized HIU’s global impact and ministry focus. International Student, Simba Bere, shared his daunting personal journey from Nigeria, and how God opened doors for him to attend Hope. Senior Eva Jimenez talked about how her life has been transformed by the love, encouragement, and opportunities she has received as a student. HIU’s new President, Dr. Paul H. Alexander (BA ’84, MA ‘88), delivered his inaugural “State of the University” address, highlighting stories of alumni whose servant leadership has brought hope (and Hope) to thousands of lives around the world.

Spirit of Hope Awards were presented to HIU President Emeritus, Dr. John Derryand to Toby Yurek (BA ‘95), Chair of HIU’s Board of Trustees. Two HIU alumni received Distinguished Alumni Awards – Pete Contreras (BA ‘88) was recognized for his service and ministry in urban San Diego; Roger Peña (BA ‘01) was honored for his decorated career with the United States Department of Defense. Benefactors Richard & Annette Atwood were presented with HIU’s Philanthropic Award for their exceptional generosity and financial support.

Alumnus Steven Sandy (MA ’14) performed two songs and reflected on how his HIU education and experience prepared him for worship ministry. Guests also enjoyed the acapella music of WestBeat, and an inspirational finale by HIU's Praise Choir, featuring alumna Leena Fritz (BA ’19).

Prior to the program and dinner, guests gathered for a pre-event reception, enjoying hors d’oeuvres, live music, student ambassadors, and a special photo op with Mickey Mouse.

A deep and sincere thank you goes out to all of HIU’s faithful and generous supporters whose donations make it possible for students to attend and earn their degree at Hope. The impact of their investment reverberates around the globe, and truly cannot be measured this side of eternity!

// VIEW ALL PHOTOS (flickr)