On an overcast Saturday morning (May 10, 2014), 233 students of Warner Pacific College earned their Associate, Baccalaureate, or Master diplomas. This class of 2014 was comprised of traditional undergraduate students who attended classes full time at our main Mt. Tabor Campus along with those attending through the Adult Degree Program at one of five satellite campuses across the Portland-Metro area.
Seventy-five years prior in 1939, Warner Pacific College’s (then Pacific Bible College) first graduating class consisted of two students, Naomi Beasley and Allee Wilson. Both received the Christian Education certificate.
Today, for some of our graduates, it has been a four year journey through a traditional undergraduate program. And for others, their lives were a delicate balance of work and family as they attended evening classes in our Adult Degree Program.
Two Warner Pacific graduating students stood before their classmates to offer words of reflection and hope for the future. Sarah Whitman was part of our vibrant Mt. Tabor campus life. Attending classes, grabbing a cup of coffee at Tabor Grind, worshiping with fellow students at Chapel, and offering a strong godly presence in service projects and as a RA in the dorms.
“We’re graduating. But more than recognizing our ‘arrival,’ we are celebrating the fact that we have learned, that we have at times walked through the unknown, that we have been loved, and that we have a hope-filled future,” reflects graduate Sarah Whitman, who received her Bachelors of Arts in Christian Ministry that Saturday morning.
After three years of evening classes, graduate Dana Ingram received her Bachelors of Business Administration through the Warner Pacific’s Adult Degree Program. “As I pondered what to say today, I began to reflect on how I got here. Right here, in this very position, behind this podium, speaking to all of you. So I asked myself the same question that Professor Brandi Walton asked me and the rest of my cohort on our first day as WPC undergrads: ‘Why did I return to college?’ further ….’why Warner Pacific College over other adult degree programs’?”
Dana reflected that she remembered clearly specific reasons for choosing to return to college. “My classmates shared their desire for job security and advancement, a boost of self-esteem and confidence, and the hope for a feeling of accomplishment. Someone set out to finish college before her children completed high school; others were first generation college students hoping to change family history.”
In her address to the graduates, Dr. Andrea Cook, President of Warner Pacific College, reminded them that, “in our constantly changing world, you are likely to change occupations several times. So, the aspects of your education that will serve you the best are your ability to keep learning, to wrestle with the big questions of life, to think critically, and to adapt to new and exciting opportunities.”
We are proud of all the graduates and have been blessed through your journey with us at Warner Pacific. We pray that God will lead you as you engage in the opportunities that are ahead of you.
“God has created you and called you out of love. You have been called out, gifted, empowered, and offered hope, healing, and restoration through Jesus Christ because God has good plans for your life. You matter. You are powerful. And amidst the uncertainties many of us may be facing, know that none of it is uncertain to God. Know that in trusting a loving God you will ultimately not be left hanging,” was and is Sarah’s prayer for all Warner Pacific graduates.
In honor of her late husband, Robert who graduated from the Adult Degree Program at Warner Pacific in 2009, Dana offers this final thought that is applicable to all graduates, students, and all of us, “Let’s get to work.”
A.F. Gray Award: Yesenia Delgado
Albert F. Gray, the first president of Warner Pacific College, demonstrated the living example of a godly life, a disciplined mind, and a warm and loving heart. In 1940, he declared that the College seeks to impart to its students, knowledge of the great facts of religion and build into their personality those noble characteristics of love, faith, loyalty, devotion—in short, the graces of the spirit—that they may be well qualified to serve Christ and His church.” In order to uphold and honor these timeless principles, the College presents the A.F. Gray Award each year to a student who clearly exemplifies those high ideals.
Yesenia is graduating with a degree in Human Development. She served as a leader of the Student Diversity Council, was involved in Student Government, participated in a leadership development program with the Department of Human Services, and served as an officer for Enactus. Additionally, Yesenia represented the College at academic and leadership conferences, international mission trips, and numerous local speaking engagements. Yesenia is a generous, compassionate, and ambitious young woman who embodies the mission, vision, and values of Warner Pacific.
Marshall K. Christensen Award: Mollie Berry
The Marshall K. Christensen Award for Excellence in Scholarship, named in honor of the College’s fifth president. This award is presented a graduating senior who best embodies the values characterizing academic life at Warner Pacific College. Faculty members nominate students whom they recognize as having not only benefited from our academic program of study and co-curricular activities but also ones who have made significant contributions to their classmates and colleagues.
Milo L. Chapman Award: Ethan Morrow
Warner Pacific College’s is a place “Where Faith and Scholarship Lead to Service.” As a Liberal Arts institution we are committed to the development of the whole person. Throughout their four (or more) years at Warner Pacific, students are given an opportunity to become learners and servants both inside and outside of the academic classroom, on our campus, and in the community. Many students go beyond the basic requirements of learning and enhance their holistic education by participating in a variety of experiences that allow them to integrate all they are learning about themselves, their world, and their faith. Following the model that Christ set before us of tangibly loving the community in which they live, students are able to put feet to their faith and realize the joy of serving.
The Milo L. Chapman Excellence in Service Award is named for a man who served Warner Pacific College as a model of servant hood to this community. His association with the College spanned 46 years. During these years, he filled the position of President three times, served as Dean, and in addition taught classes on a consistent basis. Milo was a man of wisdom who listened. He was a counselor, encourager and mentor. He was a man of great faith in God. His life was a life of service.
Wilma I. Perry Award: MacKensie Keiner
Dr. Wilma I. Perry embodied many wonderful qualities that Warner Pacific College considers of high value for its graduates of the Adult Degree Program. In her lifetime, Dr. Perry served as pastor of the Friendly Street Church of God in Eugene, OR, following years of service as an itinerant preacher and evangelist. Furthermore, she earned a doctorate in psychology from the University of Oregon as an adult student and joined the faculty at Warner Pacific College, where she also directed the College’s Center for Human Services. She was known for her speaking and teaching abilities, and as a gifted, published scholar. Dr. Perry’s life was one of service, academic excellence, integrity, and transformation.
Traditional Undergraduate Outstanding Students Recognition:
These honors and awards were presented to students at the May 1, 2014, Honors Chapel.
Adult Degree Program Outstanding Students Recognition:
- ADP Outstanding Student – Associate of Arts in Organizational Dynamics: Autumn Amber Enns
- ADP Outstanding Student – Bachelor of Science in Human Development: Matt Field
- ADP Outstanding Student – Bachelor of Business Administration: Larissa Ushriya
- ADP Outstanding Student – Master of Science in Management and Organizational Leadership: Carrie J. Elgin
Faculty Emeritus Citations were Presented to:
- John A. Fazio, Ph.D.
- Louis G. Foltz, Ph.D.
- Phyllis Michael