Following a solemn processional and invocation, President Weymouth Spence, Ed.D. , challenged the community to be true to WAU’s mission: to produce graduates who bring competence and moral leadership to their communities.
“I stand here along with a committed faculty and staff ready to do all we can to make this vision a reality for every student,” Spence said, adding quickly that a WAU degree was a cherished prize that must be indicative of a graduates possession of certain intellectual capabilities as well as enhanced spirituality, creativity, flexibility and analytical capabilities. “A WAU degree must be a distinction that is earned, not a commodity that is bought.”
Spence said further that he strongly supports the concept that agents of change come from within universities.
“We prepare students for life and challenge them to go beyond the confines of conventional thinking,” he said. “We must continue the task of teaching our students how to think, not what to think.”
Dave Weigley, chair of the Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and the WAU Board of Trustees, encouraged the class of 2016 to constantly reflect on their actions and where they are on their journey. He said this was a critical task that everyone must embark on so they can better understand life.
Washington Adventist University has been experiencing a resurgence in recent years, marked by increased student enrollment and a positive fiscal outlook. Students returned to campus this fall to find a completely renovated dining hall, the first since Wilkinson Hall was built 40 years ago. Several classrooms have also been renovated, wireless technology nearly completed throughout the campus and the athletic field and pool area slated for major development, in addition to other capital development projects.