Anza, CA - It was a day of celebration and reflection as graduates, accompanied by their families, faculty, and friends, gathered at the 2023 Commencement Ceremony held on Friday, June 23rd. The event, filled with anticipation and excitement, marked a significant milestone in the lives of the graduating class.
The ceremony began with the Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Joseph Lee, leading the way as the faculty administrators and graduates processed into the venue. The atmosphere was charged with enthusiasm as the opening song, performed by Jubliee College Music Dean Dr. Merril Smoak, set the tone for the memorable occasion. Distinguished administrators and faculty members took the stage, receiving well-deserved introductions.
Dr. Sarah LaFleur, dean of Olivet Theological College and Seminary, delivered an invocation prayer, setting a spiritual tone for the event. Dr. Matthias Gebhardt, president of Olivet University, extended a warm welcome to the attendees and shared the president's statement, emphasizing the significance of this pivotal moment in the graduates' lives.
The highlight of the ceremony was the commencement address delivered by Dr. Joseph Ray Tallman. Introduced by Dr. Walker Tzeng, Dr. Tallman challenged the graduating class to remain steadfast in their identity and purpose as they embarked on their journeys of sharing God's word around the globe. The address resonated deeply with the audience, inspiring the graduates to embrace their calling with conviction and passion.
Following the uplifting speech, the conferring of degrees commenced, recognizing both the graduates present at the ceremony and those who participated online. Each graduate was celebrated for their hard work and achievements and applauded by their loved ones and the entire audience.
In a moment of special recognition, Rev. Timo Plutschinski was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree for his exceptional ministry work in the field of business, particularly with the Global Strategy Forum and World Evangelical Alliance. Dr. William Wagner introduced Rev. Plutschinski, who then delivered a heartfelt honorary doctorate laureate address to the 2023 graduating class. His words of wisdom and experience left a lasting impact on the audience, further fueling the graduates' aspirations.
To conclude the event, Dr. Martin Zhao delivered a benediction, offering blessings and well wishes to the graduates as they embark on the next chapter of their lives. As the evening drew to a close, graduates and their guests came together to celebrate their achievements during a joyous banquet reception, filled with laughter, hugs, and reminiscence.
The 2023 Commencement Ceremony will undoubtedly be remembered as a time of triumph, inspiration, and heartfelt gratitude, as these graduates set forth on their paths, armed with knowledge, faith, and the unwavering determination to make a positive impact on the world.