Cheers filled DAR (Daughter’s of the American Revolution) Constitution Hall Sunday as members of Washington Adventist University’s Class of 2011 walked across the stage to receive their hard-earned degrees, diplomas, and certificates.
There were a total of 226 graduates compromised of 174 Baccalaureate degrees, four Associate degrees and 50 Graduate degrees. This is the largest group of graduates WAU has seen since 1986.
Though this was the University's first year hosting graduation off campus, the weekend was still a success. With the location change for the commencement, there was more room for all of the graduates, family, friends and supporters to be seated safely and comfortably. The graduate’s were still able to continue the tradition of walking through the gateway with a portable reconstitution that was placed on the stage.
DAR Constitution Hall is a registered national landmark. Ground was broken for the Hall on June 22, 1928. That same year the cornerstone was laid by Mr. Calvin Collidge, using the same trowel George Washington used to lay the cornerstone at the Capital in 1793. Mrs. Herbert Hoover was the guest speaker at the formal dedication on April 19, 1929. The first musical event in the hall was on November 2, 1929 and featured Anna Case, Efrem Zimbalist, Sophie Barslau and Hans Barth. Every year, over 600,000 people pass through the doors of DAR, Washington, DC’s largest concert hall.
Friday night the graduates heard the powerful testimony of Dr. Mikhail Kulakov. His message to them was on the power of prayer. Dr. Kulakov reminded graduates that God has a plan for their lives. On Saturday for the Baccalaureate, Mark Finley’s message gave the graduates a message on true greatness. Finally, for Commencement, the Honorable Isaiah (Ike) Legget finished the weekend reminding the graduates about service. He hoped the entire graduating class would be successful but in all their success, they should remember from where they came and to give back to the community.
“I enjoyed graduation this year,” says Noreen Raynor, a guest of a graduate. “I think having the first two programs in the church was good for the spiritual impact on the graduates. I think the powerful messages the speakers delivered touched both the graduates, students and everyone there. And at DAR Constitution hall, everyone had plenty of space to sit, move around and take pictures. This was one of the best graduations I have been to at WAU.”