graduation ceremony

Riverside, Calif. (Aug. 17, 2023) – While temperatures were high outside, excitement in the Dale E. and Sarah Ann Fowler Events Center was just as high for the summer commencement ceremonies at California Baptist University on Aug. 16. Throughout each of the two ceremonies, family and friends cheered for graduates as they were celebrated and honored for their achievements.

Combined applications for graduation consisted of 66 candidates for doctoral degrees, 519 for master’s degrees and 362 for undergraduate degrees for a total of 947 applicants.

“Each of these graduating students has arrived at this point because of a shared commitment to the challenging yet rewarding endeavor of higher education,” said Dr. Ronald L. Ellis, president of California Baptist University. “Graduates, you have faced many difficulties and yet you persevered. We congratulate each one of you!”

In the commencement address, Dr. John Montgomery, associate vice president for Student Services, said commencement is the time to celebrate academic achievements and more.

“At CBU we believe each person is created for a purpose. Graduates of this institution are challenged to become individuals whose skills, principles and sense of purpose glorify God and distinguish them in the workplace and in the world,” Montgomery said. “You have met that challenge by continuing to develop your knowledge and skills with integrity. Because of that, you are truly distinguished and prepared to make the most of your CBU experience.”

Montgomery told the graduates their educational journey prepared them for what lies ahead.

“May you move forward with the same resolve that has guided you to this joyful day of celebration. May your CBU experience and your CBU degree serve as solid building blocks in a sturdy foundation for all your ambitions and dreams,” Montgomery said.

Aubrey Callahan Barnes, who earned her Master of Science in Counseling Psychology, wants to be a therapist who specializes in eating disorders. She said the professors were encouraging and helped her find her niche.

“I was trying to figure out where I belonged, and they really helped me find my grounding and find out what I wanted to do with my life,” Callahan Barnes said.

Zachary Perry, who earned his Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, wants to work in an ER. He said the program and faculty equipped him for his career and to spread God’s love through it.

“Dr. James Zapata [assistant professor of physician assistant studies] helped me a lot because he's in the ER as well. He's given tips and tricks about how to get prepared for the ER and give the best care possible,” Perry said.

Rod MacDonald earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. After spending 28 years in law enforcement, this was on his post-retirement bucket list. He plans to go on to earn his master’s and serve the first-responder communities.

“What made me choose CBU was the education along with the biblical foundation. Everything is biblically rooted,” MacDonald said. “I advocate for CBU so much because this is probably one of the best universities, or if not the best university, that I've ever been associated with.”

Contact CBU Marketing and Communication

Vice President for Marketing and Communication:
Angela Meluski

8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504