Simpson University Prepares to Honor 130 Graduates

REDDING, Calif.— Simpson University will honor more than 130 graduates during its 10 a.m. spring commencement Saturday, April 27, inside the James M. Grant Student Life Center on campus at 2211 College View Drive.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Kevin Mannoia, who has served as chaplain at Azusa Pacific University since 2005. Prior that that, he was dean of APU’s School of Theology and served as president of the National Association of Evangelicals. He is an ordained minister and the author of numerous books.

The commencement ceremony is scheduled to be live-streamed (check simpsonu.edu for a link). The ticketed event is “sold out.”

It will be the second commencement ceremony for new Simpson University President Norman Hall, who joined the university in June. The university received full accreditation renewal with no sanctions in March and has announced new athletic and academic programs, as well as new scholarships.

The 2019 spring graduates include students from the School of Traditional Undergraduate Studies, School of Adult and Graduate Professional Studies, Betty M. Dean School of Nursing, A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary, and the School of Education.

Simpson traditionally holds graduation twice a year — in January for summer and fall grads, and in April for spring graduates. The April ceremony is typically held outdoors but is being moved inside this year due to unsettled weather predictions and field conditions.

Simpson University was founded in Seattle, Wash., in 1921, and moved to Redding in 1989. In addition to offering 24 four-year bachelor’s degrees in its traditional program, Simpson has also helped almost 4,000 North State residents complete their degrees through the School of Adult Studies (ASPIRE) program, which offers classes online and on campus. The School of Education, which offers master’s degrees and credentialing programs, has graduated nearly 3,000 students, many of whom teach or serve as administrators in Northern California.

The Betty M. Dean School of Nursing, which is nationally accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, is ranked No. 12 in Best RN Programs in California, based on test scores. It has graduated nearly 200 four-year nursing students and more than 175 RN-BSN students.

Simpson is launching a new commercial music emphasis in the fall, as well as athletics programs in track and field, swimming and diving, men’s volleyball, women’s wrestling, and bass fishing. Initiatives are also underway to add a digital media concentration and 3+2 engineering program.

Other programs in the works include social work and kinesiology, as well as exploring delivery of the university’s Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology program in partnership with the Hong Kong Institute of Christian Counselors. The university is also partnering with Bethel School of Technology to offer degrees to students enrolled in the coding “boot camp.”

In January, Simpson announced a Carr & Camp Fire Scholarship for families impacted by either historic blaze. Each recipient who meets minimum qualifications can receive up to $60,000 over four years. The university is also starting similarly “aggressive” scholarships geared toward teachers, students in Northern California counties, Christian and Missionary Alliance students, and more, Dr. Hall said.

Learn more about Simpson University at simpsonu.edu. Follow Simpson news at simpsonunews.com. Follow Red Hawks athletics at simpsonredhawks.com.

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Redding Foster Mother, Businesswoman Earns Simpson University Degree

“I accomplished more than I ever thought I could.”

REDDING, Calif.—Kristi Hokema, a foster mother to just over 200 children, recently added college graduate to her accomplishments, motivated by words she’d often used to inspire her own family.

GRAD_HokemaHokema, 52, of Redding, was one of 150 students who graduated from Simpson University on April 28. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology through Simpson University’s School of Adult and Graduate Professional Studies.

Hokema initially began her college education in the fall of 1984 at Bob Jones University as an education major. After three semesters, Hokema moved back to California and married her husband, Frank, and continued taking classes at Shasta College.

Time passed, and as the couple began to have kids, Hokema decided to stop her education. At age 50, while helping run the family’s business—Hokema’s Sewing and Vacuum—and now taking in foster children, an event stirred her mind to think of the education field once again.

“As I sat through my children’s college graduations, I realized the importance of getting an education that I had instilled into each of them was now looking at me,” she said. “What seemed like a crazy idea became a reality when I started looking into Simpson University’s ASPIRE program.”

With a simple click and a quick prayer, Hokema applied to finish a degree in psychology.

“I chose to pursue a degree in psychology, thinking this was going to be the best way for me to become a better foster parent,” she said.

Hokema is a foster parent with Shasta County Health and Human Services. She has taken in more than over 200 children during the past 13 years.

“When I was a little girl, I always played orphanage with my dolls,” she said. “I knew God was calling me to take in foster children just like He calls missionaries into other countries.”

Because of Hokema’s dedication to continue being a foster parent, she not only worked a full-time job during her time in ASPIRE, but fostered three newborns as well. This came with its challenges, but Hokema pushed through.

“It was tough, but I did it,” she said, noting that during her ASPIRE studies, her family also celebrated a daughter’s wedding and mourned a father-in-law’s death. “I love my classmates that have become like family to me. I loved my instructors that cheered me on and advised me. I accomplished more than I ever thought I could.”

Hokema said she recommends the ASPIRE program to others “with busy lives and unfulfilled goals. If I can do it, so can they,” she said.

Inspired by her progress, she plans to pursue a master’s degree in education and teaching credential through Simpson University’s School of Education.

Simpson University’s School of Adult Studies ASPIRE program offers degrees in business management, organizational leadership, psychology, and liberal studies. Learn more at simpsonu.edu/aspire.

Photos by Sarah Barrows / Top: Kristi Hokema, third from right, prepares to enter the James M. Grant Student Life Center with fellow ASPIRE graduates during Simpson University’s commencement April 28, 2018.

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Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduategraduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings; the Betty M. Dean School of NursingA.W. Tozer Seminary, the School of Education, and the School of Graduate Professional Studies. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.

Sen. Ted Gaines to Speak at Simpson University Spring Commencement

UPDATED 4-25-18

REDDING, Calif.— Simpson University will honor more than 150 graduates during two indoor spring commencement ceremonies Saturday, April 28, inside the James M. Grant Student Life Center at 2211 College View Drive.

Due to a rainy forecast, the traditional 10 a.m. outdoor ceremony will be divided into two indoor ceremonies. At 10 a.m., students from the School of Traditional Undergraduate Studies (except for nursing) will be recognized. At 2 p.m., students from the School of Adult and Graduate Professional Studies, Betty M. Dean School of Nursing, A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary, and the School of Education will graduate.

The keynote speaker will be California State Sen. Ted Gaines. Sen. Gaines was elected to his current role in 2011 and represents the 1st District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra, and Siskiyou counties.

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Sen. Gaines graduated with a degree in business administration from Lewis and Clark College in Oregon. He and his family live in El Dorado Hills, where he runs Gaines Insurance in addition to his service in government and other community and professional involvement.

Both commencement ceremonies will be live-streamed at simpsonu.edu/graduation.

It will be the final Simpson graduation for university President Robin Dummer, who will retire in May.

Simpson traditionally holds graduation twice a year — in January for summer and fall grads, and in April for spring graduates.

Simpson University was founded in Seattle, Wash., in 1921, and moved to Redding in 1989. In addition to offering 24 four-year bachelor’s degrees in its traditional program, Simpson has also helped more than 3,500 North State residents complete their degrees through the School of Adult Studies (ASPIRE) program, which offers classes online and on campus. The School of Education, which offers master’s degrees and credentialing programs, has graduated more than 2,500 students, many of whom teach or serve as administrators in Northern California.

For more information about Simpson University, visit simpsonu.edu.

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Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduategraduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.