Graduates Exhorted to Commit to God's Authority at OU 2019 Commencement

June 21, 2019

Olivet University (OU) commencement ceremony concluded with celebration at Riverside main campus on June 20, 2019.

The event started off with OU Vice President Dr. Nathanael Tran delivering the opening speech then introducing all the OU professors, faculty, and administration leaders seated on the stage.

Dr. Joseph Ray Tallman, Director of Olive Branch Institute of Islamic Understanding, gave the invocation prayer and Dr. Merrill Smoak, Jubilee College Of Music (JCM) led the Riverside choir members in the opening song.

Dr. Mattthias Gebhardt, OU San Francisco President for Academic Affairs, delivered greeting and remarks followed by OU President Dr. Tracy Davis who introduced the commencement speaker Dr. Randall Bell, President of Ecclesia College and served as ABHE'S Executive Director in the Commission on Accreditation for past 16 years.

Exhorting OU graduates, Dr. Bell gave a motivational speech to all the graduates.

"There are two sources of truth: first is God's revelation to us, second is human's investigation. We live in a fallen world where people are not committed to the truth. Through human investigation, we discover that fallen people cheat," said Dr. Bell.

"If you want to have an impact on culture and build God's church, we have an enemy that Genesis tells us about. Satan attacks in three primary areas: sex, money, and power. We're living in a culture that is increasingly hostile to divine revelation."

"Are you willing to pay the price for the relationship of truth? I am convinced that we do not have a relationship with God unless we acknowledge His authority over us. Biblical worldview helps us respond rightly to the authority. But the authorities of the world make it difficult to respect them. However, God's authority is final."

"The mind of Christ is the mind of humility. Talents and ability, looks and personality, education, degrees are beneficial but commitment is what makes it significant. Commit and work hard. Work with a growth mindset. Ask yourself 'Did I give my best?' Embrace value. Don't let failure define you but use it as a stepping stone. It can be key to your success. Have good relationships and make good choices," Dr. Bell concluded.

Following the speech, there was the conferring of degrees ceremony where all the graduates were awarded their diplomas and certificates.

This year, the student speaker was Hwang, a Master of Arts in Translation and Interpretation (MATI) graduate. Hwang reflected on her journey and gave thanks to God for His guidance.

Additionally, the latest video episode of "My OU Story" featuring last year's graduate Lisa Lin was also premiered for the first time before all the guests and graduates.

Dr. William Wagner, Director of Olivet Institute for Global Strategic Studies, gave the benediction with all academic leaders to bless the graduates.

OU hopes all graduates may continue to live by the vision and mission of Olivet - for the earth to be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord.

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