May 2016 commencement at Fresno Pacific University to honor more than 500 graduates

By wayne.steffen on April 27, 2016 @ 2:28pm
Winter graduation speaker

The achievements of more than 500 graduates from Fresno Pacific University will be celebrated at the May 2016 commencement.

The main ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 6, in Selland Arena, 700 M Street, Fresno. Many students receiving master’s degrees will have hooding ceremonies beginning at 5:00 p.m. either in the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel across M Street or upstairs in Valdez Hall, Selland Arena. An estimated 544 new graduates will be honored: 220 from the traditional undergraduate program, 216 from bachelor’s degree completion programs, 90 from graduate programs and 18 from Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary.

The featured speaker will be Shirley V. Hoogstra, J.D., president of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities. Based in Washington, D.C., the CCCU is an international, nonprofit higher education association of 180 Christian institutions. The 117 members in North America are all fully accredited, comprehensive colleges and universities with curricula rooted in the arts and sciences. There are also 63 affiliate campuses from 20 countries. The CCCU encompasses 35 Protestant denominations, as well as the Catholic Church, in its membership.  

Prior to taking this position, Hoogstra spent 15 years as vice president for student life at her alma mater, Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI), after four years on Calvin’s board. While at Calvin, she co-hosted Inner Compass, a nationally televised show on PBS. Before her tenure at Calvin, Hoogstra was a partner at a firm specializing in litigation in New Haven, CT. She earned her Juris Doctor, with honors, from the University of Connecticut School of Law, and has been admitted to practice law in Michigan, Connecticut, district courts in both states and the U.S. Tax Court. 

Hoogstra is also an active volunteer. She has been an elder, deacon, committee member, Bible study leader and worship team member in the congregations of the Christian Reformed, Evangelical Free and Presbyterian churches of which she has been a member, and served on the boards of several community organizations and schools. She and husband, Jeff, who practices pediatric medicine, are the parents of a married son and daughter. 

Other speakers and dignitaries will include FPU President Richard Kriegbaum, Ph.D.; Provost/Senior Vice President Stephen Varvis, Ph.D.; Terry Brensinger, Ph.D., seminary president and university vice president; and Don Griffith, chair of the FPU Board of Trustees. Around 6,500 family, friends and loved ones are expected to be at Selland Arena. Adding to the atmosphere will be music from the FPU Symphonic Band, Concert Choir and organ.

Family and friends unable to attend may enjoy the ceremony live or later at