News • May 03, 2021

CBU celebrates 2021 graduates at spring commencement ceremonies

CBU celebrates 2021 graduates at spring commencement ceremonies

Riverside, Calif. (May 3, 2021) – Dr. Ronald L. Ellis, president of California Baptist University, congratulated hundreds of graduating students during two commencement ceremonies held on the Front Lawn on May 3.

From May 4-6, CBU will hold six additional ceremonies to honor the 2021 graduates. Another four ceremonies will be held May 7 and 10 to honor the 2020 graduates who were celebrated in December with a virtual commencement. To stay in compliance with health guidelines due to COVID-19, the ceremonies are being held outdoors. Each one features approximately 200 graduates and limited guests.

CBU celebrates 2021 graduates at spring commencement ceremoniesCombined applications for graduation for spring 2021 commencement ceremonies included four candidates for doctoral degrees, 624 for master’s degrees and 1,169 for bachelor’s degrees for a total of 1,797 applicants.

Ellis said the graduates had navigated the various requirements necessary to receive their diploma. They also adapted to changes and interruptions caused by a global pandemic.

“Each of these graduating students has arrived at this point because of a shared commitment to the challenging yet rewarding endeavor of higher education. Each one has overcome obstacles to achieve this goal,” Ellis said. “The Board of Trustees, administrators, faculty and staff members join to celebrate and honor the exceptional efforts each of you has made to earn your degree.”

Dr. Anthony Dockery, chair of the CBU Board of Trustees, recognized the specialness of the in-person celebration.

“Indeed, this is the day that the Lord has made and we are already rejoicing and being glad in it. I know we want to celebrate,” Dockery said.

He also encouraged the graduates to use the Great Commission training they received at CBU to benefit others.  

“We know commencement is not about an ending, it’s all about a new beginning. We are grateful for all the time these students have poured in to prepare for such a time as this,” Dockery said. “I pray that whatever role [they] move into, that they indeed will be that city that is set upon a hill that can’t be hid and will live their purpose.”

Ellis reminded the graduates they were leaving with the qualities embodied in the university student outcomes, known as the Core Four — Academically Prepared, Biblically Rooted, Globally Minded and Equipped to Serve.

“I hope these outcomes will continue to inspire you going forward, and that from time to time you will reflect on how they influence you as you live your lives and serve others,” Ellis said.

Lilia Riccio, a Bachelor of Arts in History graduate, said she was very happy when CBU announced plans for commencement.

“I feel like you need the closure,” Riccio said. 

“CBU showed me what it means to be a teacher and be a Christian,” said Riccio, who plans to be a teacher. “My professors led by example and provided good encouragement and mentored as I moved forward on that path.”

Fernando Albarran, a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice graduate, plans to go into law enforcement.

“CBU helped me with my communication skills and my teamwork skills and helped me grow more confident in my plans for the future,” Albarran said.