Commencement Highlights

Commencement Highlights

Northwest Nazarene University
Feb 1, 2021
NNU President elbow bumps student after receiving diploma

On Sunday, Sept. 6, Northwest Nazarene University held its 104th Commencement ceremony, celebrating the graduating class of 2020 while maintaining COVID-19 safety precautions. A total of 517 traditional undergraduate, graduate and non-traditional students graduated. 

NNU President Joel Pearsall served as keynote speaker for the Graduate and Professional Studies ceremony. He addressed the noticeable changes to the ceremony, but encouraged everyone to focus on what had remained the same as graduates celebrated this milestone. 

Dr. Joe Bankard, professor of philosophy and 2018-19 Professor of the Year, provided the keynote address during the Traditional Undergraduate ceremony and encouraged graduates to face the challenges of life with love, not fear. 

“You can go to any university and get job training. You can go to almost any university and get prepared for a career. But NNU is special because we believe in the transformation of the whole person. We want to see you as men and women developing those traits that are going to allow you to withstand the storms of life,” he said. 

Recordings of both ceremonies can be found at