Undergraduate Commencement Program 2023

For the complete program, which includes a list of all graduates with their degrees, select the correct link below.

For viewing by phone: Download the cell phone version of the PDF.

For viewing on computer: Select the flip book.

Cell Phone Program Flip Book Program

Schedule of today's ceremony


SPU Orchestra
Directed By Christopher T.F. Hanson, PhD
Assistant Professor of Music Education; Director of Music Education and Orchestral Activities


Pete C. Menjares, PhD
Interim President

Hymn: Great Is Thy Faithfulness*

By Thomas O. Chisholm; music by William M. Runyan

SPU Chorus
Led by Ryan Ellis, DMA, Assistant Professor of Music; Director of Choral Music

SPU Orchestra
Directed by Christopher T.F. Hanson, PhD

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever wilt be.

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.


Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!


Used by permission: CCLI #18723.


Melani Plett, PhD
Professor and Chair of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering; Director of Engineering and Computer Science Programs
Parent of 2023 Graduate Alyssa Plett

Scripture Reading

Philippians 1:9–11
Michael Paulus, DMin, MLIS

Assistant Provost for Educational Technology; Dean of the Library; Associate Professor of Information Studies
Parent of 2023 Graduate Junia Paulus

2023 President’s Citation Award
Introductory Remarks

Cynthia Price, PhD
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

Announcement of the 2023 President’s Citation Award Recipient

Andrew Ryder, PhD
Co-Interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Professor of Theatre Education

Commencement Address

“Living on Purpose for God’s Purposes”
Phyllis Sortor
Class of ’64, Director of Schools for Africa; 2023 Alumna of the Year

Awarding of Degrees

Dean Kato
Chair, SPU Board of Trustees

Pete C. Menjares, PhD
Interim President

Presentation of Candidates for Degrees

Les Steele, PhD
Interim Chief Academic Officer

Alma Mater*

SPU Chorus
Led by Ryan Ellis, DMA
SPU Orchestra
Directed by Christopher T.F. Hanson, PhD


Midst the mountains of the Westland,
near the ocean blue,
Beacon light that shineth ever
is our SPU.
Join the chorus, waft it onward,
until all shall view.
Standing true amid all others,
dear old SPU.


Brian Gill, PhD
Professor of Mathematics
Parent of 2023 Graduate Julia Gill


SPU Orchestra
Directed by Christopher T.F. Hanson, PhD

After the ceremony: The audience is requested to be seated while the platform party, faculty members, and graduates recess.

Families and friends: Please exit T-Mobile Park and meet your graduate just south of the ballpark at the plaza adjacent to the Mariner”s Parking Garage. Look for the maroon balloons.

*Please stand.