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or nearly 200 Columbia

International University graduates,

May 16 was a day for celebration and

bittersweet goodbyes. As graduates

crossed the stage in Shortess Chapel,

they celebrated both the fruit of their

hard work, and many said goodbye to

the friends and professors who had made

CIU feel like home.

“I loved that I was able to celebrate with

family and friends,” said Charron Conley,

who received a Master’s of Arts degree

in Bible Teaching. “The difficult part was

knowing that graduation was the last

weekend for a long time to be with such

great friends.”

CIU conducted two commencement

ceremonies, the first for seminary and

graduate students, and the second for

undergraduates. South Carolina State

Senator Darrell Jackson, a CIU alumnus

who also pastors Bible Way Church of

Atlas Road in Columbia, addressed

graduates in both ceremonies. His

message, “The Blessings of Knowing,”

challenged graduates to take their

biblical knowledge to those who need it.

“Quite frankly, over the years I’ve learned

that God isn’t so impressed with degrees,

but He is impressed with what you do

with those degrees,” Jackson said.

The undergraduate ceremony also

included the tearful remembrance of

Keturah Washington, a beloved CIU

undergraduate student who passed

away in February. The CIU faculty

posthumously awarded her diploma for

bachelor’s degrees in Communication

and Bible with Washington’s parents

receiving the diploma on her behalf. As

their gift to CIU, the Class of 2015 also

established an annual scholarship in

Washington’s name.

“There are three things we know about

Keturah: she loved life, she loved

learning, and she loved her Lord,” said

Dr. Dan DeLozier, who was Washington’s

academic advisor.

With tassels turned and diplomas in

hand, CIU President Dr. Bill Jones

addressed the graduates for the last

time, encouraging them to use their

degrees to make an impact for Christ.

“I wonder how many thousands of

people will come to know Christ

through your lives, whether [you are] a

professional minister or a ministering

professional,” Jones said. “May you go

out and make a difference in thousands

and thousands of peoples’ hearts.”

A Time for Joy, a Time for Tears

By Melissa McCutchan, CIU Student Writer




South Carolina State Senator and CIU

alumnus Darrell Jackson addresses graduates

as President Bill Jones looks on.


CIU Today

Summer 2015