News • August 16, 2021

Distinguished students selected to ring in commencement ceremonies

Distinguished students selected to ring in commencement ceremonies

Riverside, Calif. (Aug. 16, 2021) – Approximately 1,000 students at California Baptist University are eligible to participate in three summer commencement ceremonies on Aug. 18-19. In keeping with a CBU tradition, each ceremony will begin with the ringing of a bell.

Each toll of the bell represents one decade of the university’s existence. The bell will ring seven times at each of the ceremonies to commemorate more than seven decades of academic excellence. CBU was established in 1950.

In keeping with another aspect of the tradition, graduates from among the highest-ranking students were chosen to ring the bell.

Areli Medina, who will receive a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design and Digital Media, will ring the bell for the 2 p.m. ceremony on Aug. 18. Alyssa Harman, a Master of Business Administration candidate, will ring the bell at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony on Aug. 19. Areli Rodriguez, a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences candidate, will do so at the 2 p.m. Aug. 19 ceremony.               

Medina said she was surprised when she first learned she had been chosen as a bell ringer.

“There are so many great students at CBU, and I'm sure there are others who are just as eligible to do this; so I am humbled and grateful for this opportunity,” Medina said.

Balancing school, work and personal responsibilities was not an easy task, Medina said, but she had already pushed off getting her degree many times in the past.

“By the grace of God, I was able to persevere and get to where I am now. My biggest success is that I am now accomplishing something I had prayed for so long about,” Medina said.

She is grateful for how CBU integrates faith into the courses and challenges students to build their lives and careers on the word of God, she said.

“My faith grew in an unexplainable way and, overall, CBU helped me put the puzzle pieces together of understanding where God wants to take me with this accomplishment,” Medina said.

Rodriguez said her goal was to finish her degree with a 4.0 GPA, which she did.

“There were times I would be stressed, tired and didn’t have the motivation to keep on going but I remembered my goal and most importantly that I had the Lord guiding me along the way,” Rodriguez said.

She plans to attend medical school and then return to Riverside County to work.

“Being taught by outstanding professors and faculty challenged me to grow academically and spiritually,” Rodriguez said. “As I continue on my academic journey, I will be faced with many challenges but despite all the hurdles and bumps I may endure, I will continue to follow what God’s purpose is for me.”

Harman said doing remote instruction was more challenging than she expected because there are more distractions at home than in a classroom. However, she accomplished it.

“My biggest success is simply graduating with my MBA,” Harman said. “After my BA, I told myself that I was done with school. However, I decided that grad school was the right choice for me, and I jumped right into the program.”

Harman earned an MBA with a concentration in healthcare administration. She wants to use her degree to help grow the small psychology practice where she works in Fullerton, California.

“CBU has shaped me by providing excellent role models for me and my future career. Professors were amazing at providing advice from their experiences in their respective fields,” Harman said. “For me, this meant that I received invaluable advice and connections in business and healthcare administration.”

Contact CBU Marketing and Communication

Vice President for Marketing and Communication:
Angela Meluski

8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504