GPA Graduates Celebrate a Life-Changing Year
Paper dragonflies and dandelions in spring colors decorated the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) chapel, creating a bright, joyous atmosphere, as family and friends awaited the start of the ceremony. Generation Peace Academy (GPA) participants graduated on Saturday, June 8, in a celebration highlighting the growth and dedication of each member.
The ceremony began with a beautiful piano piece played by Elijah Maddox, a second year Cheon Il Guk (CIG) Missionary. The director of GPA, Roland Platt, welcomed everyone, giving special recognition to the second year captains and third year staff who were critical in making the past year of GPA life-changing.
Myoyeon Yu, coordinator of the GPA-STF Alumni Association, emceed and orchestrated the event. The GPA Dance Team and the GPA Choir showcased their talents in two wonderful performances. Dr. Ki Hoon Kim gave his congratulatory message by video, conveying his excitement for the next stage of everyone’s life. Rev. Demian Dunkley gave the keynote address, expressing that while it may be difficult to leave the loving environment of GPA, it is time to go out and share the love with the world. Each CIG Missionary also received a Completion Award for their witnessing efforts.
Six GPA participants gave testimonies. They talked about their immense growth over the past year and expressed gratitude to everyone who worked hard to make the 2018-2019 GPA year a reality. According to Margaret Repke, Finance and Operations Manager of GPA, this was the most moving part of the ceremony.
Friends, families, staff and fellow graduates cheered with pride as each GPA graduate walked across the stage to receive their certificate of completion. “There was every emotion in the crowd and graduating class from tears to laughter, trepidation for what is to come and excitement for what they were each stronger to face in life,” said Ms. Repke. “As each member’s name was called, the support from the GPA family rang throughout the chapel.”
The ceremony closed with a group picture to commemorate the final moments of the GPA class of 2018-2019. In the barbecue lunch that followed, everyone said their good-byes, officially concluding their momentous year.
If you would like to apply for GPA 2019-2020, it’s not too late! Submit your application here.