Pacific Union College Graduation Weekend 2019

By Becky St. Clair on June 14, 2019

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Pacific Union College, Napa Valley’s only four-year college, will host its annual commencement exercises Friday, June 14, through Sunday, June 16.

The college will proudly award 330 associate, bachelor, and master’s degrees to 309 graduates. The largest departmental groups are the nursing and health sciences (170 graduates from the Associate of Science and Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs), business administration (42), communication (21), and psychology & social work (21).

In addition, four graduating students are Maxwell Scholars: Michael Caster, management for medical professionals major; Alexander Chang, chemistry (biochemistry) major; Lauren Chang, English writing major; and Laurel Kwon, English writing major. Maxwell Scholars are recognized as incoming freshmen for their outstanding academic achievement, and are awarded a renewable scholarship based on their unweighted cumulative GPA and test scores.

“We are excited to honor and celebrate our graduates and the future that lies ahead,” says Robert Cushman Jr., PUC president. “I look forward to meeting graduates, families, and friends here on beautiful Howell Mountain, where nature and revelation unite in education.”

In the class of 2019, 17 students will graduate summa cum laude; 18 magna cum laude; 50 cum laude; 4 with honors. After California, which is home to 272 graduating seniors, Washington State and Oregon boasts the highest number of graduates. International graduates hail from China, South Korea, and Vietnam.

Of note, two graduates are the first to receive their particular degrees from PUC. Cory Colombini is graduating with a B.S. degree in music composition, and Kenzie Hardy has earned a B.S. degree in global development studies.

Students and family members are all welcome to attend the ceremonies, which are located on the college campus at the Pacific Union College Church, Dining Commons, and Maxwell Commons. Following is a full schedule of events for graduation weekend.

Friday, June 14
4 p.m.  Social Work Consecration; Scales Chapel, PUC Church
8 p.m. Consecration; Sanctuary, PUC Church

Saturday, June 15
10 a.m. Sabbath School; Sanctuary, PUC Church
11:15 a.m. Baccalaureate; Sanctuary, PUC Church
4 p.m.  Nursing Graduate Recognition; Sanctuary, PUC Church
4 p.m.  Teacher Dedication; Scales Chapel, PUC Church (by invitation only)
5:30 p.m. President’s Reception; Dining Commons (for graduates, parents, & faculty)

Sunday, June 16
9 a.m.  Commencement; Maxwell Commons (near Paulin Hall)

Michelle Rai, chair of the department of communication and world languages at Pacific Union College, will speak at the Consecration Service on Friday at 8 p.m. Rai has served PUC with distinction for the past 11 years, and was named Educator of the Year in 2016. Previously, Rai served as director of public relations and assistant director of enrollment services for the college.

James Wibberding, associate professor of applied theology and biblical studies at PUC, will speak for Baccalaureate on Saturday at 11:15 a.m. He is an experienced pastor, having led congregations for 17 years across multiple states, served as chaplain of the Idaho Senate, and teaching as an adjunct professor for the Doctor of Ministry program at Andrews University in Michigan.

Kim Brown Sims, VP of patient care services and chief nurse executive at Queen of the Valley Medical Center in Napa, California, will address students at the Nursing Graduate Recognition Service on Saturday at 4 p.m. Sims has extensive experience in various aspects of nursing healthcare, and is certified as a neonatal intensive care specialist and nurse executive advanced.

Senator Bill Dodd of the third senate district, which includes Napa County, will give the Commencement address. Dodd is a fifth generation Californian and a lifelong resident of Napa County. Prior to becoming a Senator, Dodd served for two years in the Assembly and was on the Napa County Board of Supervisors for 14 years.

Jefferson Richards, senior class president, will also speak for Commencement.

For a link to the livestream of Commencement, visit The livestream will begin at 9 a.m.

Full details of the Commencement weekend and schedule are available at

For more information, please call (707) 965-6303.