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APOU’s First Graduating Class

On December 15, 2012, Azusa Pacific Online University (APOU) celebrated the commencement of its first graduates. APOU conferred Associate of Arts and Science degrees on eight learners. Since opening its doors on June 27, 2011, this inaugural graduating class marks a significant milestone for the university.

Four of APOU’s graduates participated in the winter commencement undergraduate ceremony at Azusa Pacific University (APU), and these learners were the first to receive associate’s degrees at an APU commencement. Following the ceremony, APOU held a reception at the university’s campus in Glendora. Staff and members of the board of directors joined the graduates and their families to celebrate their accomplishment.

To commemorate this first graduating class, APOU buried a capsule holding stones with each graduate’s name and a proclamation marking this milestone for the university and students. APU President Jon Wallace commissioned a prayer over the graduates, who all have plans for furthering their education.

“You are the foundation for the graduates that are going to come beyond today,” said Deana Porterfield, APOU executive vice president, to the graduates during the reception’s ceremony. “We exist to graduate difference makers for this world, and we were founded with the goal of making Christian higher education affordable and accessible to students. This is a symbol for the foundation being laid on December 15, 2012, for the thousands of graduates that will come beyond today.”

Photo Slideshow

Celebrating our graduates:

  • WATCH: Check out a photo slideshow of the winter commencement ceremony and reception held at APOU’s campus in Glendora (at left)
  • IN THEIR WORDS: Learn more about the educational journeys of a few of our graduates and their future plans in Q & A interviews
  • INSIDE APOU: Read Executive Vice President Deana Porterfield’s reflection on commencement on our blog

Photography by Skyler Russell/Azusa Pacific Online University

In the words of
APOU graduates:
"Despite the obstacles in life, no matter how long it takes to achieve a degree, it’s worth the time and effort."

Kristen Vaca
Associate of Arts

"My time at APOU has been well spent. I have proven to myself and my teachers that I am able to work hard and overcome many obstacles. I am able to actually see myself being successful."

Jason Keeton
A.S. in Health Sciences