Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Graduation Day - May 10, 2010

Graduation Day is a day of celebration at PIU. This year graduation was held at Faith Presbyterian Church and friends and family gathered to rejoice with our graduates and thank God for His faithfulness in their lives. 8 Associate of Arts Degrees and 11 Bachelor of Arts Degrees were earned this year. As the graduates gathered to enter, Dr. Bill Wood, current faculty member and former President of PIBC, used his musical talent to provided the prelude music. Faculty marched in and were seated and then Ned Farnsworth, faculty and Student Life team member, presented the graduates by playing "Pomp & Circumstance".
Board member and former academic dean, Mary Johnson, gave the invocation and Rob Watt, VP of Student Life greet all and was our master of ceremony. Steve Stinnette was given the privilege of introducing long time friend Mrs. Kiki Stinnett, as the guest speaker. Kiki is a member of the PIU Advisory Board and President of the Chuuk Women's Council as well as being a successful businesswoman. She and Steve have affectionately called each other "cousin" for many years. KiKi is married to the only other Stinnett(e) in Micronesia - a transplant like us from Virginia. Kiki challenged our students to make a difference in their islands for Christ through whatever avenue of employment they found themselves in. She spoke from her heart to theirs as no one else could do.

The valedictorian, Doug O'Meara shared his thought with us and then diplomas were awarded. Afterward, Dr. David Owen, PIU President presented his challenge to the students. Below our graduates have just turned their tassels and are preparing to present their class song.

Iotaka Choram, faculty member, gave the benediction and Ned Farnsworth played the recessional and postlude. All gather outside for refreshments and then the fun begins. Friends and family deck our graduates with leis and gifts until they are hidden beneath them. Here are Chelsea Phillip (Saludatorian) and Doug O'Meara (Valedictorian) posing with the start of their stash of leis. Chelsea was the student speaker at the Baccalaureate service the day before and did and excellent job!
Breathing can become a problem as the leis are piled higher and higher. Pictured below are Dave Souleng, Maybellene Marar, Miury Marar, and Alicia Pedros.

Our graduates go on to many things - some work in their island churches, one young man is taking steps to take the Gospel to some of the still unreached islands of Micronesia, some are teachers, others get government jobs, some are going on for further schooling such as seminary or nursing, some stay at PIU and join our staff. Several alumni have heard God's call to go to other countries with the Gospel and are awaiting His timing. Pray that they will be faithful to use what God has entrusted to them. They are among the most educated in all of Micronesia and with that comes great responsibility before God and man.
If you have prayed for us over the years or for the school you have had a part in the lives of these students. Thank you! More than few of PIU's current students are the children of those we saw accept Christ as Savior more than 30 years ago. Our God truly does not let His Word return void without accomplishing what He sent it to do. (Isaiah 55:11)

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