Commencement Weekend Keeps God First

by Greg Pereira '06

It’s May, flowers are blooming, dumpsters are overflowing with second-hand IKEA products, and once again, APU bids a fond farewell to a new generation of Christian workers. The graduates of today differ from those at the school’s founding in 1899; many of them will pursue careers in business, psychology, music, communication, and more. However, the mindset of today’s graduates have remained in perfect unison with those of 100 years ago―to keep God first in all that they do.

May 6-7 marked commencement weekend, two days that recognized the graduates for their commitment in obtaining bachelor’s, master’s, degree completion, and doctoral degrees. This year, 1,241 students from all walks of life leave APU to pursue careers, further education, and enter into missionary work. “I really feel prepared to go into the workforce,” said graduate Jill MacKinney '05'.

“APU showed me that whatever field I go into, I can find success by always keeping God first.” The School’s motto, God First, was a reoccurring theme throughout the weekend. Convocation speaker and professor of business Gary Lemaster, Ph.D, shared with the undergraduates and their families the changes that he has seen in the last 22 years, and reminded those in attendance that changes will occur, but a foundation in God is unchanging. APU President Jon R. Wallace, DBA, undergraduate commencement speaker, echoed Lemaster. After returning from a week long reflection period in the Rocky Mountains President Wallace shared his insights with the graduates and attendees. Wallace explained that money will come and go, but God will always be there. Mike McIntosh, D.Min., pastor of Horizon Christian Fellowship in San Diego, addressed graduates, accelerated degree, and doctoral students during the morning ceremony, congratulating them on this significant accomplishment.

The graduate and undergraduate classes of 2005 will enter their perspective field of work or study with not only the knowledge of a graduate, but also with the wisdom that is gained by being part of a community of Christian workers. From 1899 till present, APU has stressed the importance of keeping God first in every decision, a belief that has positively affected graduates for 106 years, and counting.