BERRIEN SPRINGS, Mich.—From July 31–August 2, 2020, the Andrews University community will recognize the achievements of graduating students through Virtual Commencement and Celebration of Graduates services. These virtual services will be held instead of the postponed traditional summer graduation services as a response to COVID-19 related restrictions on large group gatherings.
The weekend’s central events begin Friday, July 31, at 7 p.m. EDT, with the Cultural Graduation Stoles Celebration. This event will be livestreamed at andrews.edu/livestream and on the Andrews University Facebook page, facebook.com/andrewsuniversity.
Celebrations will continue on Saturday at 11:45 a.m. with the Baccalaureate service. The Department of Music will present a special selection. Wintley Phipps, senior pastor of the Palm Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church and founder/CEO of U.S. Dream Academy, will deliver the address which will be broadcast at andrews.edu/livestream and on the Andrews University Facebook page.
Phipps is an education activist, motivational speaker, author, pastor and world-renowned vocal artist. For more than 38 years he has delivered messages of hope, advocacy and equality to thousands during his travels around the world.
In his dedicated work with the U.S. Dream Academy, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides mentoring and tutoring to children of incarcerated parents and children falling behind in school who are living in high-risk environments, Phipps has raised the nation’s consciousness to the needs of these children. He has also brought his considerable skills to a number of organizations where he has served including Miss America’s Outstanding Teen, the Scholarship America Board of Trustees, the Council for Religious Freedom and Prison Fellowship Ministries.
Phipps has been the featured keynote speaker and performer for many notable occasions around the world, including the inaugural swearing-in ceremony of President George W. Bush and the opening of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. He has also performed for four different presidents at annual National Presidential Prayer Breakfast events and other distinguished celebrations.
Phipps is married to Linda Diane Galloway Phipps (an RN), and they are blessed to have three adult sons: Wintley Augustus II, Winston Adriel and Wade Alexander.
On Saturday afternoon, various colleges, schools and departments have arranged their own celebratory services. Consult the online schedule for a complete listing at andrews.edu/graduation/schedule.
The weekend’s events will conclude with Virtual Commencement services on Sunday, August 2. Each service will begin with a greeting and invocation from the dean of the College/Seminary and remarks from President Luxton. They will also include a slideshow of graduates, a special selection from the Department of Music, an alumni welcome, a dedicatory prayer and a benediction.
The first Virtual Commencement Service will occur at 10 a.m. for graduates of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary. The other services will follow at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. respectively for graduates of the College of Education & International Services, College of Health & Human Services, College of Professions and College of Arts & Sciences. Each of these virtual services will be streamed at andrews.edu/livestream and on the Andrews University Facebook page.
The graduation website will continue to be updated with service information as it becomes available. Please check andrews.edu/graduation/schedule periodically for updates.
Founded in 1874, Andrews University is the flagship institution of higher education for the Seventh-day Adventist Church and offers more than 160 areas of study, including advanced degrees. Its main campus is in Berrien Springs, Michigan, but the University also provides instruction at colleges and universities in more than 25 countries around the world.