Before the University community came together to celebrate this spring’s 147 graduates, they first gathered together to see the graduation of two. Daniel Morales and Emilio Alvarez, both seniors on the baseball team, were unable to attend Saturday’s commencement festivities because of the CSAC baseball championship games. In order to give these two hard working individuals the recognition they deserved, the University held a small commencement ceremony, which involved a short charge to the two graduates, the awarding of their diplomas, and their induction into the alumni association.
The weekend celebration continued Saturday morning with the traditional Commencement ceremony. 147 graduates from associate’s, bachelor’s, dual-level, and master’s programs walked across the stage and received their diplomas, concluding their time as students at the University. After all the degrees were awarded, Dr. Williams introduced this semester’s commencement speaker, Dr. Lloyd Gestoso, dean of the School of Social Work.
Dr. Gestoso first discovered social work when he attended Cairn University in 1987. He became chair of the Department of Social Work in 1999. Under his leadership, the Department of Social Work grew into the School of Social Work, and he has served as dean since 2015. He has over 20 years of experience in the areas of community development and assessment, social entrepreneurship, social services counseling, holistic healthcare, opioid dependence, and HIV/AIDS care.
Dr. Gestoso implored the graduates to love like Jesus. Through a series of charges and challenges, Dr. Gestoso pushed the graduates to think more deeply about their day-to-day actions and how they could live differently in order to show the love of Jesus to those around them.
Working in social work all of his adult life, Dr. Gestoso can attest to the hurt that exists throughout the world, however, he does not see this hurt as a sign of defeat. In fact, he encouraged the graduates to not be afraid for “we have already won. Life is too short to live in fear. Fear the Lord, not this life.” Although this life has challenges, our graduates can live in confidence knowing they serve the One who is sovereign over it all.
Congratulations, Class of 2019!
Listen to student speeches from the Senior Brunch and Graduate Banquet