PUC Celebrates the Class of 2024

By Ally Romanes on June 24, 2024

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Pacific Union College was delighted to celebrate the 245-student graduating Class of 2024 from June 14-16.

The consecration service on Friday night kicked off graduation weekend at the PUC Church. The program was led by graduating class members, with Executive Vice President Sitraka Andrianarijaona welcoming family and friends. Professor of Communication Dr. Tammy McGuire addressed the congregation as the chosen speaker for vespers, where she discussed the fullness of uncertainty.

Former PUC Pastor Mark Witas returned to campus to share the word for Sabbath church service. In the afternoon, Tad Worku, mission coach at Inland Empire Health Plan, spoke during the nursing graduate recognition service and was followed by the Dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Kimberly Dunker, who presented awards and pins to the students who completed an associate, baccalaureate, and MSN degree in nursing. Family and friends then continued celebrations afterward at the Dining Commons for the President’s Reception.

Among the graduates, 177 were from the nursing and health sciences departments, 16 from the psychology and social work department, 15 from the business administration department, 10 from the chemistry department, and eight from the communication and world languages department. From completing essays and giving presentations to spending countless hours studying, they arrived at the finish line to receive their well-earned diplomas.

Loved ones from far and near gathered on Sunday morning at Maxwell Commons to witness their graduates' special day. Director of Faith for Today Ministries Roy Ice gave the commencement address with a captivating talk titled, “Why Are You Wearing a Square Hat On Your Round Head?” Ice spent some of his favorite years as PUC’s chaplain from 2005-2011 and was honored to accept the offer to speak back on campus.

Senior Class President Tyler Wilensky gave a valedictory speech sharing the graduates' journey to get to this point in their lives. Throughout their undergrad experience, they faced a pandemic and wildfires but also experienced community through people opening up their homes to those displaced and offering prayers and support. Their class leaned on one another for support and encouragement, successfully pushing through uncertain times.

“Through these trials, PUC has been a beacon of light and hope,” said Wilensky. “Our faith-based education has not only equipped us with knowledge but also with the values of compassion, service, and resilience. Our experiences here have shaped us into individuals ready to face the world's challenges with unwavering faith and determination.”

Graduation day is a bittersweet time for faculty and staff. For PUC President Ralph Trecartin, there was sadness, pride, and relief. “Sadness that so many incredible personalities will not be with us regularly anymore,” said Trecartin. “Pride that our students have accomplished so much and are now moving on to new challenges and opportunities. Relief that the whirlwind of meetings, events, and mini-crises has reached the top of a mighty crescendo and the conductor has ended this academic year with a twirl of the baton and the final crash of the symbols and then silence—blessed silence for a short time. Certainly not for too long.”


Many people work behind the scenes to make graduation weekend happen, including the facilities team, who worked Monday morning to clean the lawn and disassemble equipment. Each person who helped and led during the weekend deserves the biggest thanks.


“We are blessed with our academic cycle,” shared Trecartin. “But we are mostly blessed by the eternal friendships we make while together here at Pacific Union College.”