31 May UVF Confers Degrees on Class of 2019
On the third day of May, 2019, the University of Valley Forge (UVF) celebrated the conferring of its 80th class – the class of 2019. Students, family, and friends gathered in the Flower Chapel at 10 a.m. for a time of worship and a baccalaureate message from Professor Dominick Garcia and seniors Megan Walsh ’19 and Waldo Odens Jr. ’19. In keeping with the tradition of UVF’s baccalaureate services, the three speakers spoke about the legacy of the past, present, and future, and the faithfulness of God throughout. Walsh related how her past influences her desire to be prepared for everything in life, and how God’s faithfulness in her past and that of her family is what she appreciates and from which she has gleaned and grown. She acknowledged that while some live in fear of the future because they cling to the past, she reminded listeners to “create a strong foundation in the past by living the faithful life God has called you to live, and then trust the Lord to carry you in the present and the future.”
Odens Jr. emphasized that, as the Lord was present with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace, so he is always present with us. “We do not need to be in fear of making the wrong decision, or of the debt, or of any physical or emotional oppression, because the Great I Am is sovereign over our decisions, our success, and our failures. And as we move into the future, [may] we remember that Jesus Christ guaranteed our present trials, but we can take heart, as he said, because he has already overcome the world.” Moving on to the future, Garcia presented three points – that the future is temporary, eternal, and has a clear purpose. He explained that each future is made up of moments that matter; “even the simplest moments are beautiful if you can seek God’s presence.” He ended with a reminder that we are all ministers of the Gospel, saying, “the moments of your life which make up your life and lead you to glory are driven by the purpose to proclaim the Gospel… You are stepping out into a reality that is unknown, but you are known by the King of Kings.”
The 80th Commencement ceremony of the University of Valley Forge began at 3 p.m. on the front lawn of Greenlane Commons. The service was also live-streamed on the university’s website for those who were not present. Dr. Douglas, vice president of academic affairs, welcomed everyone to the ceremony and introduced Karlee Kipe ’19 who led the audience in congregational singing, followed by two hymns and the alma mater sung by the University Concert Choir.
Clay congratulated the class of 2019 on their accomplishments, shared his own experience as a college graduate seeking the purpose of God for his life, and assured the students of God’s divine purpose for their lives. He presented four reflections to the graduates from his journey in ministry – the first, “always remember that decision making is a part of life, so learn to lean in on God and his Word for wise counsel;” the second, “culture is constantly changing, so learn how to be transformed by the renewing of your mind;” the third, “money doesn’t make you rich, so discover how rich you already are;” and the fourth, “find your own broom and serve your way into a life of significance.” Clay also challenged each graduate to take four minutes in God’s Word every day and think about someone to serve that day. As a reminder, he gave out miniature brooms to each student as they received their diploma, concluding, “your greatness is not determined by how many people serve you, but your greatness is determined by how many people you serve. Find your broom and serve with excellence.”
After Clay’s message, Douglas and Kim presented each graduate with their respective graduate or undergraduate degree. These graduates have now joined the mission of thousands of other University of Valley Forge alumni to live a life of service and leadership in the church and in the world.
To watch the Baccalaureate service, click here.
To watch the Commencement service, click here.
For more information on the University, visit http://www.valleyforge.edu.