Walter Buster to speak at Fresno Pacific University

A record 454 graduates, their families and friends will hear from educational and community leader Walter Buster during the 57th commencement at Fresno Pacific University.

Ceremonies will be Saturday, May 4 on Steinert Field. Graduation for the traditional undergraduate college will be at 9:30 a.m. and involve about 201 students. Another six graduates of the adult transition program, for students with special needs, will also be recognized. The Fresno Pacific Graduate School and Center for Degree Completion (CDC) commencement will be at 3:30 p.m. and honor 155 graduate school and 98 CDC graduates.

Among Buster’s achievements as Clovis Unified School District superintendent ate implementing the Community of Readers program, Anytime Anywhere Anyone Learning and Character Counts. In addition to leading three other California school districts, he has taught at San Francisco State University, Sonoma State University and California State University, Fresno. The State Board of Education appointed Buster to the board of WestEd, a non-profit research, development and service agency dedicated to improving opportunities for children, youth and adults. He has served as a trainer for Executive Leadership Center and the California School Boards Association, a director for the Association of California School Administrators Superintendents Academy and a consultant with Innovative Strategies, a leadership and management consulting company.

The morning student speaker will be Larkin Hand, president of Associated Students of Fresno Pacific College. In the afternoon, students Janet Sue Chisholm will speak for the CDC and Joan Abercrombie for the graduate school.

This year’s ceremonies also mark the first at Steinert Field and the first outdoor commencement since 1994, when the event was on the campus green, west of the Special Events Center. Prior events took place in the SEC (1995-2001, 1983-92), the old amphitheater (1965-82), the campus lawn (1962-64),  Bethany Mennonite Brethren Church on Olive Avenue (1953-61), First Presbyterian Church on M Street (1951-52) and PBI Auditorium on Tuolumne Street (1946-50).

Fresno Pacific University is an accredited Christian university ranked fifth among best values in the Western universities—master’s category by U.S. News & World Report. Located on a 42-acre campus in southeast Fresno, FPU has an enrollment of 1,900 students—half in graduate and half in undergraduate programs. The university also enrolls 12,000 students annually in its professional development studies programs offered locally and throughout the world.