Graduations held


“Triple play” nets 576 winners

by Myra Holmes

Numbers of graduates have been updated to reflect actual numbers rather than projections. 

U.S. Mennonite Brethren institutions of higher education scored big in a “triple play” of spring graduations. A total of 576 students were the winners at Fresno Pacific University, MB Biblical Seminary and Tabor College ceremonies.

First up was Fresno Pacific University, the MB school on the West Coast, with commencement exercises held May 8 at the school’s main campus in Fresno, Calif. Approximately 150 graduated in the morning from the traditional undergraduate program; another 250 graduated in the afternoon from the degree completion and master’s degree programs.

Karen Cianci, dean of the School of Natural Sciences, gave FPU’s morning commencement address, titled, “Marshmallows, Commencement and the Kingdom.” Ron Claassen, director of the university’s Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies, gave the afternoon address, titled, “Power, Process and Doing the Right Thing.”

Next up in the graduation lineup was MB Biblical Seminary, the MB school for graduate theological education, with a main campus in Fresno, Calif., and Canadian campuses in Langley, BC and Winnipeg, Man. Twenty graduated in Fresno May 16, including nine with master’s degrees in marriage, family and child counseling, three with Master of Divinity degrees, two with master’s in New Testament, one with master’s in Christian ministry, one with a diploma in congregational care, two with master’s in theology and one with a diploma in Christian studies. The commencement speaker was Larry Martens, retired MB pastor and former MBBS president.

In addition, 10 graduated from MBBS’s Canadian campuses at a ceremony held April 25 at Northview Community Church, Abbotsford, BC.

Last but not least, Tabor College, the MB liberal-arts college in the Midwest, marked its 100th commencement May 22 with exercises held at the new Joel H. Wiens stadium. Appropriately enough, 100 students graduated from the main campus in Hillsboro, Kan. In addition, two associate’s degree students, 46 BS/BSN candidates and eight MBA candidates received degrees from Tabor’s School of Adult and Graduate Studies in Wichita, Kan. The total of 155 proposed graduates was the college’s largest graduating class ever. Tabor’s board chair, Lyndon W. Vix, was the commencement speaker. Vix is an attorney from Wichita, Kan.


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