Arizona Christian University celebrated 104 graduates this past Saturday, May 14 at Bethany Bible Church in Phoenix, AZ, awarding bachelor’s degrees in Behavioral Health, Family Studies, Biblical Studies, Christian Ministries, Biology, Business Administration, Communication, Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Music and for the first time, Psychology. More than 1,600 people were in attendance. The program of the ceremony involved many Class of 2016 graduates, including Martha Irvine singing the National Anthem, ACU Veterans leading the Pledge of Allegiance, Invocation by Becky Capps, a reading from the New Testament by Desiree Jackson, “How Great Thou Art” lead by Matt Lombardi, and Benediction by Timothy Bailes.
Bishop Alexis Thomas, Senior Pastor of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church and 1999 alumnus, delivered a compelling and lively commencement address. He gave the following three graduation expectations to graduates as they waited to walk across the stage and receive their degrees: “Don’t expect everybody to know how special you are – you have to know it. Remind yourself of who you are. … Expect people to consider you to be a little weird. We as Christians are not a sub-culture, we are counterculture. Every now and then, those who don’t believe what we believe will think we’re a little strange. Stand on what you’ve been taught. … Expect your learning to never end. Keep learning every day.”
After awarding the students their diplomas, ACU President Len Munsil delivered the “charge” to the graduates. He encouraged the crowd that the hope of Christians is not in rulers or possessions, but in Jesus Christ, who has overcome the world, and whose Kingdom is not of this world. He reminded them that God is the foundation of all things and that the Class of 2016 from Arizona Christian University is prepared and equipped to be agents of change in our culture, ready and willing to serve and to lead. He ended by commending them for changing ACU’s community and reputation with their amazing and inspiring stories of perseverance, transformation and redemption. Outstanding graduates were also honored in an awards ceremony the Friday evening before Commencement, as faculty, staff, students, family, and friends attended the event held on ACU’s campus.
If you weren’t able to join us, please click here to watch ACU’s 54th Commencement Ceremony.
Click here to view and purchase photos from the Commencement Ceremony.
Graduate Recognition Outstanding Student Award Winners:
Behavior Health: Selah McAvoy
Behavior Health DCP: Rachel Steele
Biblical Studies: Jacob Conrad
Biology: Brianna Lopez
Business Administration: McKenna Arensen
Business Administration DCP: Tamara Yanke
Christian Ministries: Zachary Crane
Christian Ministries DCP: Becky Capps
Christian Service: Keila Llanes and Timothy Bailes
Communication: Phillippi (PJ) Sparks
Elementary Education: Nicholas Martin
Family Studies: Eric Lindahl
Music: Matt Lombardi
Political Science: Stephanie Lloyd
Psychology: Christopher Bates
Secondary Education: Alyssa Belle Turner
Servant Leader Scholars: Selah Beck, McKenna Arensen, Alyssa Belle Turner, Rachel Redding
Outstanding Scholar Athlete: Breana DuHamel and Miguel Navar
Outstanding Scholar Musician: Keila Llanes
Sigma Lambda (Salt and Light) Award: McKenna Arensen, Elizabeth Sparks, Jacob Wilson