A New Chapter of Life

May 02, 2016

CIU Graduates the Class of 2016

By Michael Lanier

CIU Student Writer

Shortess Chapel was full of family, friends, and loved ones on April 30, as Columbia International University celebrated its newest graduates, the class of 2016. Both graduate and undergraduate students walked across the stage to receive their diploma, signifying the official completion of their education at CIU.

The commencement address was given by CIU alumnus Dr. Jeff Philpott, founder, senior leader and teaching pastor of Sandhills Community Church in Columbia. He talked about Jesus' “commencement exercise” when He washed His disciples feet, demonstrating to them how to be successful by serving others.

“If you want to be successful in the eyes of the Lord, you need to set yourself apart from the ways of this world,” Philpott said. “You need to be willing to serve.”

After the ceremony, the graduates celebrated in The Quad in front of the library, reflecting on the impact CIU had on their lives.

“CIU is a place to meet lifelong friends and gain lifelong perspective,” said Elizabeth Conroy, who earned a bachelor's degree in Intercultural Studies.

Similarly, other graduates were grateful for their time at CIU and their relationships with other people.

“Over the years at CIU, I've learned how to love people in a way that no degree could ever teach me,” said Communication major David Jones.

The graduates recognized how they had changed during their time at CIU, getting to know people and learning about God.

“At this school, I've learned about God, friends, and life, and the importance of each,” said Stephen Replogle, who now has a bachelor's degree in Business & Organizational Leadership.

“I'm so grateful for the opportunity to grow and learn at CIU,” added Marti Wade, who earned a Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies. “I'm grateful for the experience.”

Altogether, CIU awarded five certificates, 16 Associate of Arts degrees, 99 bachelor's degrees, 114 master's degrees, and seven doctoral degrees, for a total of 241 graduates in the class of 2016.  

Hear Dr. Jeff Philpott's commencement address here