Biola University Commissions Graduates to Serve Through Vocation

Dec. 16, 2009 By Jenna Bartlo

LA MIRADA & LOS ANGELES, CALIF. --- Biola University’s fall commencement on Friday, Dec. 18, 2009 will commission graduates to prosper as ambassadors for Christ as they will receive their diplomas and be sent out with a charge to impact the world for Christ. The integration of faith and vocation has been modeled by this year’s commencement speaker, Crystal D. Crawford, Esq., CEO of the California Black Women’s Health Project and advocate for the reconciliation of mental health treatment and faith. Crawford’s professional experience and service in community reflects Biola’s focus on social justice and urban studies.

In honor of alumna Crystal Crawford (’07), who coincidentally shares the commencement speaker’s name, passed away June 1, 2009 from a drive-by shooting in Inglewood, Calif. where she served as a preschool teacher, will be acknowledged and remembered this Friday, days before what would have been her 25th birthday, during commencement. Her mother and family members will be in attendance.

Throughout her career, Crawford has combined faith-based, legal and policy approaches to civil rights and social justice issues. As CEO of the California Black Women’s Health Project, she leads efforts in legislative, educational and policy advocacy to improve the health status of black women and girls. A native of Harlem, New York, she graduated from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in history and sociology in 1987 and earned her J.D. from New York University Law School.

Biola University president Barry H. Corey will verbally charge the students, a new tradition started at spring commencement in May 2009, to uphold the biblical truths of honesty, integrity, and values that respect the sanctity of life. Biola’s foundation relies on truth, transformation and testimony — three principles that separates Biola graduates from any other university.

The graduate and BOLD, Biola’s adult-degree-learning program, commencement ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. The undergraduate ceremony will begin at 7 p.m. Biola University President Barry H. Corey will confer degrees upon 121 graduate students, 95 BOLD students, and 196 undergraduates graduating in Chase Gymnasium.


Biola University is a private Christian university located in Southern California on the border of Los Angeles and Orange counties in the city of La Mirada. For over 100 years, Biola has remained committed to its biblical foundation, integrating biblical principles with every academic program. U.S. News & World Report recognizes Biola as a “National University,” which is considered the “major leagues” of higher education. In addition to its focus on intentional spiritual development and career preparation, Biola offers a unique academic environment where all faculty, staff and students are professing Christians. With over 145 academic programs in seven schools, Biola offers degrees ranging from B.A. to Ph.D. For more information, visit or call (562) 777 – 4061.

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