On Saturday, August 22, Cairn University’s graduating students returned to campus for the first time since March to walk across the graduation stage and give closure to their time at the University. The students graduated in two separate outdoor ceremonies: undergraduate and Degree Completion students at 10 am, and dual-level and graduate students at 2 pm.
To comply with public gathering restrictions in Pennsylvania, the rescheduled celebration took place outdoors. Family members watched from their cars as each student was called to the stage to receive his or her diploma.
Despite the pandemic’s disruption in their final semester, the Spring 2020 graduating class reached substantial academic achievement. Of the 147 graduates, 85 students received master’s degrees and 81 received baccalaureate degrees. 51 undergraduate/dual-level students received Latin honors for maintaining a GPA of 3.5 or higher.
English and History major Michaela Gay was recognized for the second-highest GPA of 3.97, and Piano Performance and Bible major Rebekah Stiles was honored for the highest GPA of 3.99.
In a brief address to both groups, President Todd J. Williams told the graduates that though they do not know all of what God has in store for them beyond this day, there are “certain parts of God’s will that are not questionable, that do not take time to unfold, that are not unclear, and that do not require the perspective of history; they’re laid out for us plainly.”
As evidence of this, he directed them to Romans 12:9–21:
“Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Even though the future may seem uncertain, Dr. Williams encouraged the graduates that if they “focus on these things that are the will of God and spend your efforts trying to do these things, you will be fulfilling the will of God, and the rest of your life will unfold in a beautiful way because it was spent in service to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Congratulations, Class of 2020!
Watch a replay of the 10am Commencement
Watch a replay of the 2pm Commencement