Sunday, December 7, 2014


Most of you knew that Jenna was one semester away from graduating from Azusa Pacific University with a BA in Global Studies and minors in International Relations and Leadership.  (You may have read the post when she missed graduating with her class:  ¨Supposed To¨  We fought all year to get her well enough to be able to go back to school and finish that dream.  She often talked about being able to go back to was one of the things that kept her motivated under duress these ten months.  And she was so close!  But as she grew weaker and sicker in September and finally graduated to heaven instead on October the 19th, it became clear that it was not to be.

However, in that last week in the hospital we received an incredible surprise.  I am so glad she was able to watch this video that was sent to her and receive this beautiful news.  Bruce and I both broke down and cried when we heard/saw it.  What a gift from APU to our family...

Shortly after receiving this video, we received an email from one of Jenna´s favorite professors, her anthropology  professor.  She wrote asking if a visit from someone from APU for just an hour would be a blessing to us as a family.  Of course!  Especially if it was her!  (Dr. Wu had written to me several times throughout this year asking about Jenna, encouraging me as a Mom and followed the blog closely.)  We couldn´t believe someone would come all the way to Spain just to be with Jenna for an hour!  She was so sensitive and insistent that she not cut in on any of our family time with her in what looked like her last days.  Dr. Frances Wu confirmed her travel plans with me to arrive on October 19th at 1pm.  She hand carried Jenna´s diploma with her all the way with every intention of handing it to her personally.

(This honorary degree, ¨Honoris Causa¨, means in Latin
 ¨for the sake of the honor¨.  It was indeed an honor! 
 We are sure that Jenna received her reward -
 her honor, if you will - in heaven that same day.) 

We know now that Jenna graduated to heaven that very morning, just a little over 2 hours before Dr. Wu arrived.  She was soooo disappointed and we were, too.  We fell in love with her immediately and there is no wonder why Jenna loved and respected her so.  Our team here decided to stage a mini graduation ceremony anyway that afternoon at the Parque Cementerio where we were to receive people.  You can see how special it was to us here:

Part 1:

Part 2:

We feel so blessed as parents to have received this incredibly special diploma, granted in an amazing gesture of generosity by her university.  We are grateful to APU and the staff there who made this remarkable honor possible.

How many of us get to graduate twice in the same day??!


  1. So beautiful and special. So proud of Jenna.

    (just so you know, the third video works, but the other two are set to private, so others cannot see it)

  2. Whitney, I reset them under Youtube so you can see them...thanks!

  3. I'm crying, I'm so touched by this honor, gift, recognition of Jenna. I don't know how you sat through the ceremony. I'm melting here. God's carrying you, I thank Him.

  4. She was such a wonderful woman and had more influence in 23 years than many in a hundred years. I am thankful for her influence in my daughter's life and ours.