Commencement 2020: #StillAU in Unexpected Seasons


Anderson University’s 2020 graduates were honored in person on Sunday, Oct. 18 at their long-awaited Commencement ceremony, an event that would normally have taken place in May. Appropriate precautions were taken, such as social distancing and mask requirements, to ensure the health and safety of all in attendance.

Alongside several faculty and staff, President John Pistole led AU’s 102nd Commencement ceremony.

“The mission of Anderson University began in 1917 when a group of dedicated teachers committed themselves to the preparation of leaders for service, church, and society,” said Pistole. “Since that first Commencement ceremony, more than 30,000 alumni have found their calling in distinguished
careers and faithful service all around the world.”

Pistole reminded the 2020 graduates to embrace the values learned throughout their time at AU and “strive for excellence in everything.”

“As you leave AU in your continuing journey, we cherish the memories of your time with us, we invite you back to campus as you’ve come back today, and welcome your involvement in alumni activities,” said Pistole.

The Commencement speakers were AU alumna Ann Smith ’58 and Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks, who delivered their addresses virtually.

Smith is actively involved in the AU community and is a former member of AU’s Board of Trustees. For her speech, the central theme was love.

“You’re loved by God. You’re loved unconditionally,” said Smith. “Whether or not you believe or embrace it does not change the reality of God’s incredible love for you, for me, and for every person on the face of the earth.”

During the ceremony, Brooks was awarded an honorary doctorate of law for her demonstration of AU’s five core values.

“I’m honored to be a part of [this school] and accept this honorary degree,” Brooks said.  

Brooks reminded graduates that, although their Commencement ceremony looked different than expected, three things remain that “cannot and will not change.” 

Brooks said, “Number one: you are college graduates.  Number two: you have wonderful memories of your years as Ravens and strong friendships to keep those memories alive. And number three: [you have] the incredible people who helped you get here today.”

The ceremony concluded with a prayer from the Dean of the School of Theology and Christian Ministry, MaryAnn Hawkins, proclaiming that her gratitude to God for the opportunity to gather together “absolutely overflows.” 

Check out a few posts our students tagged us in on Instagram!

Anderson University is on a mission to educate students for lives of faith and service, offering more than 60 undergraduate majors, 30 three-year degrees, 20 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports, alongside adult and graduate programs. The private, liberal arts institution is fully accredited and recognized among top colleges for its business, computer science, cybersecurity, dance, engineering, nursing, and teacher education programs. Anderson University was established in 1917 in Anderson, Indiana, by the Church of God.

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