More than 300 students from Pacific Adventist University (PAU) celebrated how God had led them through a chaotic academic year at their graduation ceremony at the Port Moresby (PNG) campus from December 5 to 7.
“Graduands, congratulations to each of you,” said deputy vice chancellor Professor Lalen Simeon in her opening address. “We were only two weeks into our academic year [when PNG was shut down], and it was hard to see the direction we would follow. But I want to praise God this afternoon for the wisdom and guidance he gave to every one of us.”
The graduation ceremony was separated into four separate sessions across two days, according to schools: school of humanities, education and theology; school of business; school of science and technology; and school of health science. Each ceremony opened with academics and official representatives bearing flags from various countries around the South Pacific, followed by singing Papua New Guinea’s national anthem and PAU’s anthem. The ceremonies were live-streamed to the PAU Facebook page.
Vice Chancellor Professor Raul Lozano addressed the graduates, emphasising the goal of PAU to “help students get a Christian worldview”.
“That’s our goal,” he said. “Yes, it is important for you to complete every assignment and exam to get to this point to receive your awards, but what about your character? The idea of a university providing society [with] Christian professionals will not make much impact unless these students, now professionals, are able to show, to live out their Christian worldview.”
At each ceremony, a different guest of honour presented the keynote address: Gary Juffa from the National Parliament of Papua New Guinea; PNG’s chief commissioner of customs Ray Paul; biotechnology and agriculture academic and author Dr Clement Wayne; and acting Australian High Commissioner Caitlyn Wilson.
Professor Lozano alongside Professor Simeon also thanked the PNG government, Solomon Islands government, PAU alumni, friends and relatives of PAU, and the Australian Government (Department of Foreign Affair and Trade), for providing facilities and education to thousands of students.
To watch the graduation ceremonies, visit the Pacific Adventist University Facebook page.