APU hosts over 300 guests for a day full of activities

For the past 22 years, Azusa Pacific University has hosted an annual Grandparents Day, and the tradition continued last Friday.  The event drew guests from all over the country to spend the day learning about the university and immersing themselves in some of the activities here on campus.

Dennette Miramontes, the Senior Director of Development of Gift and Estate Planning for the Office of University Advancement, explained why APU believes this event is so important.

“Once a year we bring grandparents, parents and family to campus, and our desire is that grandparents could have a chance to experience what their grandchildren are experiencing here at APU, from chapel to educational opportunities to hearing from Jon Wallace to student life,” Miramontes said. “We really think it is important for the whole family to know what their children are experiencing here at APU and what a difference we hope to be making in the students’ lives. This year, we have 300 parents and grandparents from all over on campus. We have grandparents coming from other states and from northern California, so it has been really great to host them for the whole day.”

Courtesy of Cole Brouwer

The day started with a breakfast and welcome at Felix Event Center, and then the grandparents were informed about the education setting here at APU.  Following that, the Grandparents Day activities were combined with the Friday routine of most students at chapel.

“This is one of the highlights of the year for me, to come and spend time with my grandson here at APU,” said Larry Ishii. “Coming to chapel, it is just so amazing and uplifting to see all the students to be surrounding us and all the love and everything, exalting God’s love. It’s just absolutely an amazing feeling.”

At chapel,  Terry Franson, Senior Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students, spoke about passing on God’s love and faithfulness from generation to generation.

“I feel the same way about passing on the love of our Lord to our children, and especially to our grandchildren. So, I feel that is what he was telling us to do: take that baton and lead your family,” said Georganne Ishii.

Courtesy of Cole Brouwer

Following chapel was a luncheon in UTCC.  Grandparents and other guests alike were treated to a meal as well as a performance by men’s chorale and a speech by President Jon Wallace.  

At the luncheon, President Wallace spoke about the legacy that grandparents and parents leave for their children, which those children remember and cherish, keeping on the theme of passing on the baton which was set by Terry Franson.

“Now that I am a grandparent, I look forward to hanging out with these men and women and seeing how they’re doing grandparenting,” said President Wallace. “Grandparents are so proud. They’re introducing their grandchild saying, ‘this is so-and-so, and this is what they’re doing.’ I love being with grandparents who are proud of their grandkids.”

Courtesy of Cole Brouwer

At the end of the day, the guests were treated to musical performances and an overview of the music program by four APU music faculty members and one student. These faculty members told stories about themselves, the instruments they were playing and where they had performed in the past, as well as sharing their goals for growing the music department.

Following the day’s events, Jerry and Beckie Coles, who came to campus to visit their granddaughter Madalyn Brown, heaped praise on the faculty and staff who made the day possible.

“I have trouble walking, and I have had so much assistance and help through this and it has been a delightful time,”Beckie Coles said. “I’m very grateful to all the kind hearts that have ministered to us today.”