More than 400 new graduates will join Fresno Pacific University’s over 24,000 alumni after the Fall 2020 Commencement Saturday, December 14.
An estimated 412 students could participate the ceremony, which starts at 10:00 a.m. in Selland Arena, 700 M St., in downtown Fresno.
Bachelor’s degree completion leads the way with 328 eligible graduates, followed by 45 in the traditional undergraduate program, 37 master’s degree students and two more master’s degree students from Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary. Traditional and seminary students study at the main FPU campus at 1717 S. Chestnut Ave., Fresno, while degree completion and master’s degree students not in the seminary attend class at regional campuses in Merced, North Fresno, Visalia and Bakersfield.
Joseph Jones, Ph.D., president of FPU, will be the featured speaker. Jones came to Fresno Pacific after serving several years as vice rector of a Christian university in Pakistan. His prior 20-plus years in higher education included service as provost at North Park University, Chicago, and dean of education and social sciences at Messiah College in Pennsylvania. Before becoming a professor, Jones served in justice systems in New York, Oklahoma and Virginia. Jones has a B.A. and M.A. in Psychology, and a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice. His work in higher education includes building university/community partnerships with the aim to empower students, faculty and staff to “Engage the Cultures and Serve the Cities. Jones has served on numerous boards and travelled extensively with the aim of “extending the influence of the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education.”
Raleen Larez, who will receive a B.A. in Business Administration, will be the graduate speaker. Other participants will include Bakersfield attorney Joshua Wilson, J.D., chair of the FPU Board of Trustees; and board members Patrick Coyle, M.Div., senior pastor at Shafter Mennonite Brethren Church, and Paul Micu, preaching pastor at Highview Bible Church, Clovis.