Biola University Celebrates Graduating Class of Fall 2012

Father-son duo Adrian and Prashan De Visser give commencement address

Dec. 21, 2012 By Jenna Bartlo

For the first time in Biola’s history, a father-son duo addressed graduates at Biola’s fall commencement ceremonies. Approximately 165 graduate students and 230 undergraduate students received their diplomas December 21, 2012.

In light of this year’s university theme — From This Place: Proclaiming Good News in a Changing World — President Barry H. Corey selected father-son team Rev. Adrian De Visser and Prashan De Visser to speak, whose respective ministries illustrate the truth that the Good News does not change, even though the way it is proclaimed might change generation to generation. 

De Visser is the founder and senior pastor of Kithu Sevana Ministries in Sri Lanka, a missions-oriented church-planting organization with a burden for reaching those in areas and communities hitherto unreached by the gospel.

"Do not settle for a mediocre life of playing it safe and going to heaven, but blaze your trail for Jesus Christ," De Visser addressed the graduates. "He will gift you with resources ... and fulfill the dreams that he has for you."

Prashan, 25, is the president and founder of Sri Lanka Unites, a youth movement for hope and reconciliation in post-war Sri Lanka. Prashan is the youngest speaker to ever address graduates at a Biola commencement ceremony. During the address, Prashan discussed his own difficult journey in discerning where God may lead his career. 

"I have a passion to make a difference in my country," said Prashan. "Jesus will surprise you and use you ... never forget your identity in Christ." 

A combined crowd of nearly 5,000 attended the ceremonies. The Biola Symphony Orchestra, as well as Biola’s men’s a cappella group, The King's Men, performed at the ceremonies in Chase Gymnasium.

To order a DVD of the Commencement ceremonies, please visit our Commencement Website.

Written by Jenna Bartlo, Media Relations Specialist. Contact Jenna at 562.777.4061 or 


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