Winter Commencement 2018: A Good Work Completed

Boosted by the cheers of family and friends, more than 1,500 students crossed the Felix Event Center stage at Azusa Pacific University’s winter commencement ceremonies on December 15, 2018, marking the culmination of their educational journey. For all, it was a celebration of hard work, sacrifice, determination, and dreams realized. These proud graduates represent 22 associate’s, 819 bachelor’s, 596 master’s, and 74 doctoral degree recipients.

Whether the first in their family to attend college, a veteran who returned to school after serving our country, or a student who balanced full-time work and family responsibilities while earning a degree, each APU graduate possesses a unique story and a distinct call on their lives to make a difference in the world.

Abbie Cerjak ’18 had envisioned becoming a nurse since childhood. Growing up in Azusa, she set her sights on APU’s School of Nursing. Applying for the Azusa Scholars leadership and scholarship program her senior year of high school, paved the way for Cerjak to attend APU. “I benefitted enormously from my time at APU,” she said. “The Azusa Scholars program provided me with resources that helped me succeed. The rigorous nursing program stretched me academically and spiritually. God is faithful, and I am now ready for a career as a labor and delivery nurse.”

After 24 years serving in the United States Air Force, Retired Master Sergeant Kevin Eastman, MBM ’18, made the transition to the classroom to earn a Master of Business Management. Taking advantage of his veteran education benefits, Eastman selected APU for its recognition as a Military Friendly School. “I felt welcomed and supported,” he said. “I was able to use my leadership skills in class and share my perspectives, both shaped by my time in the Air Force. Now, I am equipped to launch a second career and I am excited to see God’s plans for me.”

Mark Nordby ’18, returned to college nearly two decades after completing his associate degree at a community college. “I always wanted to transfer and earn my bachelor’s degree, but working full-time made it challenging. Taking online courses was the perfect solution for me. I could work at my own pace and apply my work and life experiences to my coursework. Now with a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership, I have opportunities to advance my career. I found the promises of Scripture running through my mind as I accepted my diploma on the stage, ‘He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion’.” (Philippians 1:6).