Godfather Films has been producing promotional films for this great university for several years. We were honored to have been chosen to film the largest graduating class in the school’s history and produce this promotional film.
428 students graduated from La Sierra University, the largest graduating class in the history of the 94-year-old institution. All together, 447 degrees were awarded during the Conferring of Degrees ceremony, capping a weekend of activities that began with a Friday night consecration service.
In opening the degree ceremony, university President Randal Wisbey commended faculty members for bringing their best teaching to the classroom and for “devoting countless hours to serving the good of this community and the larger community that surrounds us.”
He recognized the university’s national championship-winning Enactus team and the Class of 2016 “for giving your best as musicians, as athletes, as artists, as tutors, as the face of La Sierra in our community. You have served with great care, with great compassion.”
“Step into your future with hope,” he told the graduates. “Be agents of justice, leaders of integrity and honesty, men and women who truly make a difference as you embody the values and mission of your alma mater.”
Living with honesty, integrity and compassion for others, so-called ‘eulogy values,’ was among the charges commencement speaker Edwin Hernandez gave to the new alumni in an address titled “Pursuing a Flourishing Life.”
Hernandez is provost of the Adventist University of Health Sciences in Orlando, Fla. His background includes serving as senior program officer for the De Vos Family Foundations in Michigan, and co-founding and directing the Center for the Study of Latino Religions at the University of Notre Dame’s Institute of Latino Studies. He also served as a program officer for the Pew Charitable Trusts in Pennsylvania and has written five books and numerous papers.
Citing the book “The Road to Character” by author David Brooks, Hernandez challenged graduates to live with eulogy values rather than resume values consisting of skills and strategies important to the marketplace.
“Our culture talks a lot about success,” said Hernandez, “but sometimes it fails to distinguish and clarify what are the enduring values that lead to a vibrant and flourishing life. The question of success is more than just following your passion or your dream, it is fundamentally about who you are as a person.”
“But that is the purpose of La Sierra University, to build inner characters, to create in you and me this idea that through academic investigation, Christian faith and service come together and unite. This mission of this institution is all about eulogy values.”
“This institution transformed me because it gave me reason to believe in God and to be faithful to the church that I love,” he continued. “It gave me a reason and a passion to stay connected to the church. This learning community helped me grow to understand the gospel of grace and its call to service, to act justly, to love mercy and to love humbly.”
“You’re being called to be leaders at a particular moment when our churches, our society our businesses, our government institutions need leaders who have a conscience for the common good,” Hernandez said to the graduates. “We live at a particular moment in American history where people of color and the stranger and the immigrant amongst us are being demonized and labeled as criminals, and it is not just happening here, it is happening across the world.”
La Sierra University