Eastern University Awards 564 Degrees at Outdoor May Commencement

St. Davids, PA: At the commencement ceremonies held on Saturday, May 5th 235 degrees were awarded in the traditional undergraduate program in the 10 a.m. ceremony, and 329 degrees were awarded in the Esperanza, Adult Undergraduate, Master’s and Doctoral programs ceremony at 3 p.m.

Laura Manger, Coordinator of Alumni Events and Special Projects, said the class of 2018 joins a legacy of over 27,000 alumni that have come before them. 

The class of 1968, celebrating their 50th reunion year, and the class of 2018 together presented President Matthews with a class gift of $5,250 to be used towards the state-of-the-art Nursing Suite Laboratory in its finishing stages of completion in McInnis Hall.  

In her address, student speaker Emmalee Moffitt ’18, reflected on the future and asked her classmates, “What are we going to do with our education? I hope that we are going to use it for the good of our communities. I hope we are going to use it for loving engagement with the world; nurturing goodness, speaking truth and creating beauty in whatever fields we enter and seeing these things where they already pervade the world.  I hope you are going to use it, but that we are also going to continue it, I hope that we will be perennial students in a sense, so our study of goodness, truth and beauty in the world does not end here. I hope that we will continue attentively seeking wisdom wherever it may be found and always striving to cultivate it in ourselves, just as we have learned to do here.”

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Kenton Sparks presented The Lindback Award for distinguished teaching at Eastern University to Palmer Theological Seminary faculty member Dr. Diane Chen. Provost Sparks said of this year’s winner, “she has an extraordinary reputation at Eastern among colleagues, students, and alumni alike. All refer to this professor’s consummate skill in the classroom.” 

In his first commencement as President, Dr. Ron Matthews presented commencement speaker Dr. Christopher Hall to former Board Chair Dr. F. Ardell Thomas ‘63, who awarded Dr. Hall with the Honorary Doctor of Divinity. Dr. Hall is the current president of Renovaré, a Christian nonprofit that centers on spiritual formation. He is also Distinguished Professor of Theology Emeritus at Eastern.

Dr. Hall spoke to the graduates about time and the gift of years that God gives to those made in his image.  He shared with the graduates, “I’ve come to believe strongly it is not so much how long we live, but how well we love during the gift of years God gives us.”  
Dr. Hall left the graduates with a suggestion to set aside five minutes per day to reflect and say “Lord here is my life, I want to use my gift of years well.” He also suggested taking a fast from media once per month to be in quiet, and refocus on God. 

In the afternoon ceremony, student speaker Taisha Ortiz ’18 told fellow graduates, “I want to commend every graduate today, for persevering until the end and working hard to make their dreams come true. I also want to encourage you to strive for greater.  Continue to allow God to guide you in the calling and purpose He has for your life and use your gift to help your community and those around you to be blessed. We are the people of Faith, Reason and Justice. Congratulations to the class of 2018!” 

Eastern University is a Christian university of the arts and sciences located in the western suburbs of Philadelphia at 1300 Eagle Road in St. Davids, PA. Eastern enrolls approximately 3,300 students in its undergraduate, graduate, professional, urban, Seminary and international programs. Its core values of faith, reason and justice are woven into all of its educational programs. For more information visit eastern.edu or contact Denise McMillan, Communications Director, 610-341-4365, dmcmill@eastern.edu

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