The graduation ceremony opened with a scripture reading from Psalms 139:
“O Lord you have searched me and known me. You know my sitting down and rising up; You understand my though afar off. You comprehend my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.”
GCA’s graduation took place at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 21st inside of the school’s gymnasium.
Gabriella Pasos, the senior class president, delivered the commencement address on behalf of the class, that reminisced about her memories and that spoke of her faith in God.
“Isabel Waxman once said, ‘It is indeed ironic that we spend our school days yearning to graduate and our remaining days waxing nostalgic about our school days,’” she quoted.
“If there is any quote that quite describes graduation and my feelings towards it that would certainly be it. It is hard to believe that we have spent four years as a class together and now we are about to graduate and say goodbye. We have lived together, laughed together, cried together, but best of all, created memories together that will last for a lifetime,” she said.
Pasos then told the audience about some of her favorite memories at GCA, including singing hymns nonstop with her classmates on the bus ride back from New England, eating Ramen noodles in the dorm and teacher Mr. Short confiscating cell phones during classes.
She also thanked God for giving each of them an opportunity to attend a Christian school. She reminded her classmates that graduation is a milestone, but heaven is the ultimate goal.
“Our motto tell us ‘Behind us is infinite power, ahead is unlimited possibility’ so we know that with God, anything is possible,” Pasos said.
The theme of the graduating class of 2011 was “Heaven Bound.”
Harold Cunningham, a class of 73’ alumnus and the vice president of Georgia Cumberland Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist, was the keynote speaker. He exhorted the class of 2011 with spiritual advice on finding and living their destiny.
“Destiny, for us, is God’s plan for our life,” he said.
Cunningham told the class that those who embrace their destiny are people of action and are leaders. He also encouraged them to be a warrior of destiny and approach the next chapter of their lives with “unflinching courage, unfaltering conviction and be an agent of unstoppable transformation.”
“The world is our harvest field. I know you will discover your destiny if you stay obedient. Now, go find what’s written in your book,” Cunningham said.
Camerate Senior Ensemble performed a song dedication to their classmates during the ceremony. The members of the class of 2011 are from Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, California and Korea.
GCA principal Greg Gerard presented the class of 2011’s accomplishments and scholarships and said that more than 90 percent of the students are planning to attend college or a university next year.
“This is indeed an accomplished class and we are proud of them,” Gerard said.
He pointed out that 24 of the 63 seniors have a Grade Point Average of 3.5 or above.
During the graduation, there was a special presentation of local scholarships, as well as an announcement of college scholarships by representatives of the universities and colleges respectively. Each student was ask to stand and was individually recognized for the type of scholarship and the amount of money. Scholarships ranged from $1,000 up to $40,000 plus range (over four years).
All of the graduates and their families were invited to a reception in the cafeteria following the graduation.