Unification News for June 2005

Graduation at the Bridgeport International Academy

by Jon Wason

Many cameras were clicking as the graduates the Bridgeport International Academy class of 2005 came to stage to receive their diplomas. The Commencement ceremony was held on Friday, June 3, 2005 at the the Littlefield Recital Hall on the campus of the University of Bridgeport.

Members of the class were: Esther Jones, Steven Martinez, Pape Youssouf Ndao, Takao Nishijima, Kaori Phillips, Eri Sawada, Horace Stultz and Yijung Yang As emcee Dr. Hugh Spurgin, former principal of the school, welcomed the graduate's families and guests he explained that he stepped down as principal "To make room for a better person: my wife." The new principal, Mrs. Nora Spurgin told the audience that although the graduating class is very small, they come from several nations and diverse cultures. Mrs. Spurgin said the members of this graduating class have a huge amount of quality. She proceeded to name each graduate and describe their unique talents and gifts. She went on to say that she envisions a future when these young people will meet again as they work to solve the problems of the world.

The commencement address, delivered by Dr. Jerald D. Cole, professor of education and chair of the Instructional Technology Department at the university, touched on several points. Words of wisdom from Dr. Cole included his recommendations to stay committed to lifelong learning, learn to dance, don't become too materialistic, get married, and have fun. Most of the graduates will be heading to college but many will first serve as volunteers with STF for two years.

Dr. Neil Albert Salonen, president of the University of Bridgeport, also addressed the graduating class. He asked the students to keep learning and keep striving to make the world a better place.

Dr. Chang Shik Yang, continental director of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification, said that the founders of the school, Reverend as Mrs. Sun Myung Moon, have great hopes for this institution. He said that Father and Mother Moon have founded many schools all over the world and even though some schools are quite large and have thousands of students enrolled, BIA is by no means less important to them.

Dr. Yang's daughter was among the graduates. The entertainment at the end of the service included Yijung "Cindy" Yang playing piano followed by break dancing by the Boys Dance Team and a choreographed dance routine by the Girls Dance Group.

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