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Nearly 300 receive degrees

Posted: May 10, 2008 2:36 a.m.
Updated: July 11, 2008 5:03 a.m.

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Proud parents, friends and family members, most bundled up for the unseasonably chilly Southern California weather, gathered in the COC stadium Friday evening for The Master's College's 81st annual commencement service.

Holding cameras, gift bags and congratulatory bouquets, they watched as around 300 students, including some from across the nation and around the world, received diplomas from the Christian liberal arts college located in Newhall.

Of the 284 students who participated, or "walked," in the ceremony, 257 received bachelors degrees and 27 received masters degrees, according to Gay Johnson, assistant registrar.

"We have people coming from all throughout the United States, and some coming from outside the United States," Johnson said prior to the ceremony. "I know of one student whose father is coming from Brazil."

The Master's College also has international students from Germany, South Africa, Japan, The Netherlands and Canada, Johnson said.

Dany Brodzinski, a graduate in Biblical Studies from Berlin, Germany, said she came to The Master's College because she wanted to study the Bible, and she wasn't aware of any Bible schools in her home country.

"It has been great. I have learned so much and the last four years have gone by so fast," Brodzinski said. "I'm going home for the summer to spend time with my family, and then I am actually coming back in the fall to go on for my teaching credential."

Brodzinski wants to either teach elementary school or do missionary work, or she may combine the two and teach at a mission school, she said.

Dave Andrews' parents drove all the way from his native Texas to see him walk across the stage and receive his diploma in biology/pre-med.

"I'm gonna work a little during the summer, then take a trip to Europe at the end of the summer," Andrews said. "Then when I get back and take the MCAT, I'll start looking at medical schools."

Communications major and Mustang basketball player Eric Durso of Simi Valley started out at The Master's College wanting to be a sports writer, but is now headed down to a church near San Diego to be a youth pastor.

"My college pastor asked me to do an internship when I was a junior, and I wasn't sure if I would like it, but I ended up loving it," Durso said. "I felt like that was the Lord's calling in my life, and I decided to follow that."

The commencement address was delivered by John Street, professor of both undergraduate and graduate Biblical counseling at the college. Street is a second-generation pastor who spent more than 28 years in the pastoral ministry, and he is currently an elder at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley.

"There is a reason why they call this graduation ceremony a commencement. This is not the end of your education, it's the commencement, or beginning of it," Street told the graduates. "For some of you, your schooling is ending, but remember that your education in life's wisdom is greatly accelerating."

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