On Thursday, March 9, the sounds of excitement filled the air of the PUC Church sanctuary as the senior class, dressed in their regalia, marched down the center aisle for a special Colloquy service dedicated in their honor.
Following the processional and the welcome by Dr. Nancy Lecourt, academic dean and vice president for academic administration, beloved associate professor emeritus of business administration and senior class sponsor Lary Taylor gave a scripture reading of 1 Corinthians 9:24-27, reminding the congregation the race of life demands perseverance as we approach the finish line, and our prize is eternal life.
Dr. John Nunes, another business professor and senior class sponsor, congratulated the senior class, noting there were just 101 days until graduation, before offering opening prayer. “Lord, I pray during these last final months You be with those who are transitioning into graduate school or permanent jobs, and be with those who are still looking for the right opportunity for them. … As they march their way out of here, I pray You help them to remember even when they feel alone, they are never alone, for You are always with them,” he said.
Seniors Katie Kaatz and Justine Sauza took to the stage to remember Kevin Canavan, a business student who passed away last summer and would have been graduating with the senior class. Currently they are raising money for the Leave Your Mark Leadership & Service Scholarship endowed scholarship in Kevin’s honor. Donations are currently being accepted on their Crowdrise website.
Senior class president Juan Hidalgo introduced speaker Jennifer Tyner, PUC’s vice president for enrollment management and marketing and a senior class sponsor. His admiration evident, he lightly poked fun at her for love of her iPhone, Disneyland, and her fear of public speaking.
Tyner shared her story of how she initially came to interview at PUC: to complete Disney’s Coast-to-Coast marathon challenge and earn two additional race medal to add to her already impressive 2012 collection, which she wore around her neck for the service. Tyner revealed this interview was her third time she had an opportunity to potentially work at the college and she felt God was calling her to PUC, though she wasn’t sure why. At first, she believed it was to serve as a leader in administration. Her priority was headcount, understandable for her job, and recruiting students. After a while however, she began to really get to know members of the freshman class, many of whom are now graduating seniors, and she discovered why she was brought to PUC: not to lead, but to learn from students.
Tyner individually thanked many members of the senior class for the impact they have had on her time at PUC, and in closing, offered them her hopes for them for the future. “Class of 2017, I may have originally come to PUC to get my medals, but you have been my real prize. You have taught me invaluable life lessons and you have changed my definition of success. … As you embark on your own life journey, may your eyes be clear, may your hearts be full, may you strip away your fears, expectations, and doubts, and unleash upon the world your boundless originality that resides within you. May you listen to God, for He really does have plans for you. You have changed me, so now go change the world.”