Over 400 graduates walked across the stage at Cherry Hills Community Church on Saturday, May 11, celebrating their hard work and achievement at Colorado Christian University’s annual commencement ceremony. They were greeted by the exuberance of President Bill Armstrong, who declared that he could only think of one word to mark the occasion, “Hallelujah!”
The graduates, comprised of students from the College of Undergraduate Studies (CUS) and the College of Adult and Graduate Studies (CAGS), heard from representatives from both colleges. Caleb Rawson, offering the CUS senior address, spoke of how a diploma is not a magic bullet, but rather a sign of achievement – a sign of what’s to come.
Stephanie Drobny, from CAGS, referenced Derek Redmond – a sprinter who famously pulled his hamstring in the Olympics and managed to complete his race with the assistance of his father. “We are now on the starting blocks,” she said.
The school awarded honorary doctorate of humanities degrees to two men who exemplify the faith and tradition of CCU, Bob Kirchner and Senator Hank Brown. Kirchner served in World War II and led a distinguished career in business; Brown has worked as a representative, senator, and served as president of the University of Colorado.
Brown then addressed the assembled graduates, laying out a recipe for success: hard work, preparation, and responsibility. He closed with an anecdote from Benjamin Franklin’s life, when the illustrious statesman and scientist met with minister Cotton Mather. “You are young and have many years in the world ahead,” Mather said. “Stoop as you go through it.”
The final words of advice and encouragement gave way to the graduates walking the stage to receive their diplomas.
Following the 412 graduates who attended the ceremony was one man who graduated with a B.S. in business administration from CAGS. On deployment in Afghanistan, the audience watched as Staff Sergeant Jason Kester received his diploma from his commanding officer half a world away; Jason’s father, John, got a standing ovation when he received his son’s diploma stateside.