Campus leaders gathered to honor some of the graduating Samaritan Scholars before the 2016 Fall Commencement on December 16. The ceremony in BC Lounge on the main campus was also a recognition for Dina Gonzalez-Piña, assistant dean of multicultural ministries and chair of the University Diversity Committee, who is leaving FPU after 23 years to take on the role of ethnic and gender diversity specialist at Mennonite Central Committee. Gonzalez-Piña helped create the Samaritan Scholars program and has been crucial to its success and the achievements of it students. All alumni from the program but two have graduated in four years or less (the exceptions being due to death or illness), and many have gone on to graduate programs.
Joining the new graduates were (back row, from left) Dale Simmons, Ph.D., interim provost/senior vice president; Gwen Burks, assistant to the president; Mark Isaac, vice president for advancement and university relations; Gonzalez-Piña; and Richard Kriegbaum, Ph.D., president.