At Southwestern Adventist University’s (SWAU) December 2022 graduation ceremony, faculty, staff, friends, and family honored 50 graduates. The graduation ceremony was held on December 15, 2022, at the Keene Church of Seventh-day Adventists in Keene, Texas. Forty-eight of the graduates earned bachelor’s degrees, and two received master’s degrees in Educational Leadership. Fifteen students in this class were the first in their families to graduate from college.
David Banks, senior executive vice president and chief strategy and organizational transformation officer for AdventHealth, gave the commencement address. A few weeks before graduation, he sent each graduate a four-question survey to find out how Southwestern Adventist University had changed them—what they had learned and how they had grown. One of the questions was, who has been the source of your inspiration? Students named friends and family, of course, but SWAU graduates said they had been inspired by SWAU’s dedicated faculty members most of all.
At the end of his remarks, Banks pointed the graduates to their class Scripture, Ephesians 3:16, 17, and encouraged them to claim its truth. “Have faith and move forward in the preparation you have done, and faith that God is ready to strengthen your inner being with His power for the road ahead,” he said.
Joshua Tameifuna, in his Senior Class Response, challenged his classmates, “Go forward in God’s faith and love. Many of us are facing uncertainty about our futures. Just know God is with you. He is your strength and your certainty.”
“Graduates, today is a day for celebration!” said President Ana Patterson as she addressed the class. “I encourage you to trust in Christ, that He has a plan for you, that He will give you wisdom and strength to walk courageously into tomorrow. And on behalf of Southwestern Adventist University, we are so thankful that we have been a part of your journey.”
Just before the ceremony’s conclusion, Tony Reyes, vice president for advancement, thanked the students and their parents for entrusting Southwestern Adventist University to inspire knowledge, faith, and service in these graduates’ lives. Rosy Arizaga, alumni director, welcomed the graduates as the newest members of the Southwestern Adventist University alumni family.
Congratulations and Godspeed, Class of 2022!