AIIAS is priming for the most anticipated weekend of its academic year, as the 104th graduation ceremonies begin tonight.

Authorities in the Philippines have not reported any confirmed coronavirus infection for the past four weeks. However, the AIIAS graduation events, which easily draw hundreds of visitors on campus, will include dozens of international visitors. AIIAS recognizes that there may be concerns related to the spread of the coronavirus, for which the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency on January 20, 2020. 

President Ginger Ketting-Weller has assured the AIIAS community that graduation will continue as planned and has requested that all follow a set of health safety procedures.

Visitors coming from virus-affected areas are asked to wear a face mask. The president encouraged greeting each other in ways that avoid touch, such as the Thai gesture of putting the hands together or making the Korean bow. Hand sanitizers will be available at various entry points to venues where the events are taking place. Campus residents and visitors have been advised to wash their hands frequently. Additionally, anyone who becomes ill is asked to stay in their lodging and call the campus clinic immediately.

AIIAS is a community made up of 70 nationalities. Of these, 37 will be represented in this year's 104th graduation ceremonies. Many of the graduates will return to serve in new assignments in their home countries; others will resume new leadership roles in various levels of the church organization.

Graduating class sponsors, Drs. Cristian and Alina Dumitrescu, both faculty members of AIIAS, will speak for the Consecration on Friday evening, March 6, 2020. For the Baccalaureate on March 7, 2020, AIIAS alumnus and President of Adventist University of the Philippines, Francisco Gayoba, DTheol, will be the speaker. AIIAS Alumna and Director of the Education Department of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church, Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, PhD, will give the commencement address on Sunday, March 8, 2020.

By: Bruce Sumendap – AIIAS, Silang, Cavite, Philippines

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