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Under a canopy on a sunny Sunday morning, June 17, 343 students of La Sierra University received degrees.

Students of the university’s School of Education, HMS Richards Divinity School, Zapara School of Business or College of Arts and Sciences graduated.

Graduates from La Sierra’s School of Education are heading off to be first-year teachers, continuing teachers, school counselors, school administrators, a superintendent and a university professor, said Ed Boyatt, the interim dean of School of Education.

The graduates of College of Arts and Sciences made up 50 percent of La Sierra’s Class of 2012, as 25 percent of the graduates received a degree in biology, said Adeny Schmidt, dean of College of Arts and Sciences.

Two of the graduates of the Arts and Sciences are Stephanie Mavingire and Nicole Mavingire, twins from Zimbabwe, Africa. They want to someday open a clinic in Zimbabwe.

“Our big plan (. . . is to) start a clinic because it’s hard over there,” the twins said together. “We had a brain drain when the economy crashed (and) all the educated people left (and the) doctors went away.”

The twins want to return to Zimbabwe to help their people because the specialists who go to their country only stay a short period. Local people cannot afford to be seen on a regular basis.

Before helping their native country, the twins’ next step is enrolling into Loma Linda University medical school this summer.

“That’s always been our family dream,” Stephanie said.

Stephanie said she wants to be challenged at Loma Linda, because she wants to perform difficult surgeries someday.

The graduates were rewarded with a well-known figure at La Sierra University as their keynote speaker of commencement for the graduation.

Fritz Guy, and a research professor of at La Sierra, addressed the students talking directly to the graduates about being successful people.

“I would advise them to be completely honest, love deeply and generously, keep learning and open to new ideas, to evidence that they have not yet encountered and finally to decide to be happy and live with courage and hope,” he said. “That I think is possible no matter what happens in the world or in the economy and in their personal lives.”

Guy was president at La Sierra in 1990 and started as a student at La Sierra in 1948. He was invited by the Class of 2012 to speak at their graduation.

“It is an extraordinary honor,” he said. “I’ve been a member of the faculty here for 38 years and before that I was a student here, so 42 years of my life are tied up with this campus, so this was very satisfying to do.”
BY JAVIER CABRERA -CORRESPONDENT - news@pe.com

Mission Statement
As members of the diverse La Sierra University community, we are committed to inquiry, learning, and service.
Our community is rooted in the Christian gospel and Seventh-day Adventist values and ideals.

Our Mission Is:
TO SEEK truth, enlarging human understanding through scholarship;
TO KNOW God, ourselves, and the world through reflection, instruction, and mentoring;
TO SERVE others, contributing to the good of our local and global communities.
We pursue this mission with excellence, integrity, compassion, and mutual respect.
lasierra.edu

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