On Saturday, June 10, 2006, 4:00 pm PST, Olivet University held its 2006 Graduation Ceremony. Approximately 150 guests attended the afternoon ceremony in Olivet University Chapel, on the school's main campus in downtown San Francisco, CA. A live webcast of the ceremony was also available for viewing on six continents.
The University graduated 120 students from the Class of 2006, of whom 40 participated in evening ceremony. 67 graduate students from Olivet Theological College & Seminary (OTCS) were awarded Master of Divinity degrees. 53 undergraduate students from the theology, music, journalism, graphic design, and information technology degree programs and were awarded Bachelor of Arts degrees.
Olivet also honored excellence in academic achievement, leadership and Christian service at the graduation ceremony by recognizing six "Distinguished Graduates" from the Class of 2006 – one from each of Olivet's degree-granting programs.
This year's graduation ceremony included special remarks from The Rev. Andrew T. Lin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Olivet University. Lin congratulated the Class of 2006 on successfully attaining their degree certificates and encouraged them to reflect on their progress and development as Olivet University's newest graduates. "They might have entered here like shabby jars of clay, but after having studied at Olivet University, these graduates can be described as jars of gold," said Lin, making reference to Paul's analogy 2 Corinthians 4. Before closing his speech, Lin thanked the entire Olivet community for their support throughout his battle with cancer earlier in the year, crediting his return to good health to their prayers and loving concern.
The commencement address was delivered by Dr. William Wagner, Professor and Dean of Olivet Theological College & Seminary. Using illustrations from Exodus 4, Wagner urged graduates to acknowledge and overcome the internal challenges to following God's invitation to lifelong mission. He concluded his message with a fanciful story about the shortest commencement address on record – a 23-second exhortation by Winston Churchill to his kindergarten alma mater. "Never give up. Never give up. Never give up," quoted Wagner, whose refrain immediately inspired a roar of applause from the audience.
Dr. David Jang, University President, and Dr. Joseph Ray Tallman, OTCS Professor and Director of Middle East Missions presided over the presentation and conferring of degrees. The ceremony also featured Opening Prayer by Dr. David Randolph, Professor of Olivet College of Art & Design; the Charge to the Class of 2006, delivered by Dr. Joseph Ray Tallman; and a benediction by Dr. Tom Cowley, OTCS Professor and Doctor of Ministry Program Director.
Professor of Jubilee College of Music, Dr. Don Fugate, directed the musical selections. Olivet University Chief Administrator, Mr. Walker Tzeng, presided over the exercises, which lasted about two hours.