Nearly 4,000 family, friends, and special guests celebrated the achievements of Colorado Christian University’s 2017 class on Saturday, May 13 at the ceremony held at the 1STBANK Center. In total, 561 graduates processed into the auditorium to CCU’s traditional processional march, “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee,” and were welcomed by University president, Dr. Donald W. Sweeting.
Each year, two student representatives who demonstrate outstanding Christian character, academic achievements and leadership are chosen to represent CCU’s College of Adult and Graduate Studies and College of Undergraduate Studies at the commencement ceremony.
Nathaniel Blevens, earning a B.S. Information Systems Management, represented the College of Adult and Graduate Studies. A former 9-11 dispatch worker, Blevens decided to attend CCU to change his career opportunities.
“When you surround yourself with those who walk a Christian path, their positive outlook has such a positive impact on you,” shared Blevens. “The staff’s dedication, coupled with the drive for all students to be successful, shows God’s presence here, which is what makes CCU so special.”
Representing the College of Undergraduate Studies was Hudson Jungck, a World Changers Scholar who earned a perfect 4.00 GPA, in addition to bachelor of arts degrees in both English and history. Jungck exhorted his fellow classmates to “enter the world ready, and with eyes wide open.”
Describing his own experience recovering from two brain tumors and surgeries during his time at CCU, Jungck acknowledged that some may choose to fear the temporal aspect of our lives on earth. “But,” said Jungck, “if we respond with fear, we forsake our gospel. So how should we then live? With eyes wide open.”
CCU awarded an honorary doctorate of humanities degree to Hugh Hewitt, a lawyer, law professor, and broadcast journalist. Hewitt has received three Emmy awards and is the author of a dozen books, including two New York Times Best Sellers.
Hewitt delivered the Commencement keynote address, and captivated the graduates and guests alike as he described the story of Kenneth Merten, the current Haiti special coordinator and deputy assistant secretary in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs.
“Merten,” said Hewitt, “practiced his French until it was flawless. With dreams of becoming the U.S. Ambassador to France, he was instead assigned to serve in Haiti. He found himself in Haiti at the right time, and with the right skills, to serve the people in Haiti when they were hit with immense devastation following a hurricane.”
Hewitt concluded this story with the resounding encouragement that “You never know where you’re going or where you will be.” He advised all in attendance that “when you hear someone say, ‘I know a guy …’ or ‘have you considered …’ lean in, because these are words of opportunity and adventure.”
Upon the conferring of the degrees, the graduates were inducted into CCU’s Alumni Association and reminded that they will always be an integral part of the CCU family. The 561 graduates exited to “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” as a commission to go forth into spiritual battle as the newest CCU alumni, and as part of the kingdom of God.