On Saturday, May 27, the Unification Theological Seminary (UTS) will hold its 41st commencement at 2 P.M. on the grounds of the Barrytown campus in upstate New York. A reception for all graduates, family members and invited guests will follow at 4 P.M.
Dr. Ki Hoon Kim, Continental Chair of the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) will give the commencement address, and UTS President, Dr. Hugh Spurgin, will confer the degrees and offer congratulatory remarks.
Dr. Kathy Winings, Vice-President for Academic Affairs, will bestow this year’s honorary degrees on Beverly Howe Berndt and Laurent Ladouce.
Beverly Howe Berndt
As the International Director of The Gambia Project, Mrs. Berndt developed a highly successful program that has provided more than 500 scholarships for young girls and boys living in The Gambia ranging from middle school education to university studies. Through this work, she has also conducted an impressive array of humanitarian aid projects providing much needed food, clothing, medical supplies and services and educational materials to families in need.
For her lifelong commitment to youth education and development, Mrs. Berndt was designated an Ambassador of Peace by the Universal Peace Federation. She was also awarded the Shining World Compassion Award by the Ching Hai International Association.
Mr. Ladouce began his service to God and humanity as a tireless missionary in Laos for the FFWPU, where he selflessly served that country for more than twenty years. On returning to his home country of France, Mr. Ladouce served as the President of the FFWPU in France and became a national spokesperson for Reverend Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the FFWPU and UTS, throughout the nation.
An avid spokesman for the Laotian people, both inside Laos and among the Laotian diaspora, one of his most recent contributions is his work as the director of the Pakse Project in Laos and his subsequent proposal to the United Nations to designate the City of Pakse a UNESCO “City of Peace.”
The ceremony will also honor foreign missionaries of the FFWPU who attended special training at UTS in 1975, the year it opened, before being sent to their mission countries