News • May 04, 2022

CBU concludes 2022 spring commencement ceremonies

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Riverside, Calif. (May 4, 2022) – California Baptist University wrapped up three days of celebration this week for the spring commencement ceremonies held at the CBU Events Center. Students received cheers and praise in front of thousands of friends and family members during five ceremonies on May 2-4.

Combined applications for graduation for spring 2022 commencement ceremonies consisted of nine candidates for doctoral degrees, 661 for master’s degrees and 1,217 for undergraduate degrees for a total of 1,887 applicants.

In the commencement address, Dr. Ronald L. Ellis, president of California Baptist University, congratulated the graduates.

“Commencement is the occasion when we celebrate academic achievements,” Ellis said. “Even more, you weathered continual changes, interruptions and unknowns caused by a global pandemic. You adapted to these unprecedented circumstances and finished strong. … And through the sacrifices you made, your true character was exemplified, and the relentless pursuit of your educational goals was steadfast.”

Ellis told the graduates he hoped their CBU experience will continue to inspire and influence them as they live their lives and serve others.

“May you also take with you a continuing passion for learning, the friendships made and the life lessons gained during your college years. My earnest hope and prayer is that each of you will embrace this new beginning with Lancer enthusiasm,” Ellis said.

Walter Price, a CBU Board of Trustees member who gave the invocation, read from Psalm 46:1-3. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling” (ESV).

“Graduates as you entered today, I noticed that almost every one of you was looking up as you came into the room,” Price said. “I want to encourage you on the basis of this scripture to keep looking up, but look farther up, to the God who is your refuge and your strength. Whatever comes, good or bad, He is your refuge and strength.”

During the ceremonies, CBU recognized the efforts of two students who achieved excellence in their academic accomplishments. David Torres Salas, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a concentration in pre-law and a minor in music, received the 2022 Outstanding Senior Award. Shalomita Sumito, who earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, received the Min Sung Kim International Student Award.

For Jonathon Vancil, who earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, commencement was extra special. He is the first in his family to graduate from college.  

“I am first generation from Cuba, and I am the first of my family to finish college,” Vancil said. “There was a lot of stuff that was on my shoulders, and I took the next step to finish my degree. I’m excited to finish and now I can pass this onto my children.”   

Marcelo Blanco, police captain of the Upland Police Department, earned his Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership to fulfill his goal of becoming a leader in his organization.  

“Most of the things I’ve learned in the master’s program are things that we are doing, so it made sense to me. It’s where the rubber meets the road,” Blanco said. “You take the academic side of things and apply it to the real world.”

Contact CBU Marketing and Communication

Vice President for Marketing and Communication:
Angela Meluski

8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504