By Katie Shaw – Littleton, Colorado … Thirty-one students graduated from AdventHealth University (AHU) Denver on May 3. The ceremony, held at Littleton Adventist Church, was the first in-person commencement for the Denver campus.

All graduates were healthcare-focused and their areas of focus included sonography, nursing, and radiography.

“The AHU Denver faculty and staff were so excited to be able to celebrate with our students at this graduation event,” said Katie Shaw, AHU Denver Chief Operations Officer. “The majority of our graduates began their programs at the beginning of COVID and were remote for the better part of two years, so to celebrate in person was extra special.”

Barbara Nelson, EdD, RN, retired vice chair of Nursing for AHU Denver, delivered the keynote address titled “The Reason for the Hope We Have.” She affirmed the graduates for their choice to serve their community amid a pandemic. She reminded them that they will have the unique opportunity to be Christ’s hands to their patients as they enter hospitals and clinics to serve.

Chaplain Dany Hernandez, Director of Mission Integration at Porter Adventist Hospital, offered the invocation for graduation. Chaplain Hernandez has been an adjunct professor with AHU for more than ten years, teaching many of the graduating students a course called Philosophy of Healthcare.

AHU President and CEO Edwin Hernandez, Ph.D., based in Florida, attended and performed the graduation ceremony and official degree conferral. Dr. Hernandez charged the graduates to “live lives of devotion to God and concern for your fellow human beings; to be true witnesses in the world to the One who has made and redeemed you.”

AHU Denver graduates achieve above-average pass rates on national licensure exams, and nearly all gain employment within the Centura Health system upon graduation.

For more information on AdventHealth University Denver and its academic programs, please visit

–Katie Shaw, AHU Denver Chief Operations Officer; photos supplied