2017 July Commencement

On July 27, friends, families, and significant others gathered with Southern faculty, staff, and employees to commemorate a pinnacle moment in students’ lives: college graduation. David Ferguson, senior past at Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists, presented the commencement address on the topic of success, and President David Smith urged graduates to let James 1:19 guide their lives.

“As you graduate from Southern Adventist University, vow that you will not let anger destroy your relationships,” Smith said. “Resolve that you will not let it cause you to say and do things that dishonor God. Instead, be quick to listen, to respond to the needs of others. Be slow to speak, to be enamored with your own opinion, and especially to become angry.”

During this event, 23 graduates received undergraduate degrees, while 35 received master’s degrees. Though significantly smaller than the spring commencement, this event provides an important opportunity for those who can’t graduate in the spring to complete their requirements and embark on their careers without waiting for the December graduation.

“I am proud to be among the graduates, albeit a little later than I expected,” said Rebecca Carnes, who received her Bachelor of Arts in English. “God’s plan is perfect. I am grateful for everything I’ve learned at Southern.”

Carnes will begin her first teaching job in Florida later this year.

Amber Kuo, who graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design, was also grateful for the option to enter the workforce earlier.

“I’m glad that I was given the chance to graduate in July so that I can begin job hunting,” Kuo said. “If I waited until December, I wouldn’t be able to work in my field until 2018. I’ve spent a long time in college, and it’s good to know that my efforts were successful.”

Gelissa Leveille Story by Gelissa Leveille Published: Last Edited:

The views and opinions of campus guests do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Southern Adventist University. An individual's or group's invitation to speak or present on campus should not be regarded as a university endorsement of their philosophies and beliefs.