On Saturday, May 7, Cairn University welcomed back two special alumni at Commencement. State Representative Leslie Acosta ’97 and Colonel David. J. Parramore ’88 are this year’s Alumni Achievement Award recipients and were recognized during the ceremony and a luncheon that followed.
At the luncheon, Leslie and Dave were surrounded by trustees, deans, cabinet members, faculty, staff, commencement speaker Cherie Harder, and Cairn’s President, Todd J. Williams. Dr. Williams welcomed the group and opened with prayer.
Then Alumni Director Nate Wambold introduced Col. David J. Parramore, now retired, as a humble, accomplished servant of the Lord. Dave has already visited Cairn to speak in a business class and share his experiences in health information technology at the federal level with IBM.
Dave spoke for a few minutes about his experience in flight school (graduating first in his class) and how well prepared he was upon entering University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He spoke of the need for believers to be in all kinds of business to minister to the needs of hurting people.
After Dave spoke, Dr. Janet Tyler (professor in the School of Social Work) introduced State Rep. Acosta, who is the first Latina ever to serve in the PA House. Dr. Tyler spoke of Leslie’s passion and active mind, even as a student. Dr. Tyler spoke of the issues that motivate Leslie both personally and legislatively.
Deeply emotional, Leslie spoke earnestly about what receiving the award meant to her. She shared how Cairn University gave her a chance to experience a cultural context she was completely unfamiliar with and taught her about the impact her faith should have on work and life. She also stated her belief that other students ought to come to Cairn and experience the benefit and blessing of a Cairn education. It is this passion that has motivated her to push for deep political reform. She has been reelected and looks forward to continued service in the House.
As a number of honored guests have been a regular part of these luncheons, Cairn’s Golden Grads (those who graduated 50 or more years ago) were also a part of the event. The Golden Grads had the opportunity to share their year of graduation and why Cairn has been a blessing in their lives. The prevailing theme of their comments was the profound impact that Cairn has made on their lives and how they, shaped by their education, have been able to touch the lives of many others.
Cairn University is delighted to host a commencement luncheon every year in which faculty, staff, new graduates, and their friends and families gather to fellowship and celebrate a wonderful example of God’s goodness and faithfulness.
In March 2023, Pennsylvania lawmakers introduced the Compassionate Aid in Dying bill (HB543/SB816). The bill is modeled after Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act, which has largely set the framework, in