This April, Newbury Park Adventist Academy (NPAA) celebrated 75 years since its first graduating class of 1948-1949 with a weekend sharing memories and reflecting on what NPAA has meant to students through the years. The weekend began with a Friday night vespers and concluded on Saturday evening with an alumni concert and games.

On Sabbath morning, alumni shared their stories about NPAA. “You know, when you grow up as a kid at a place, it holds your heart,” said Tracy Harder, who teaches government, economics, religion, and history at NPAA. “Each one of you are here because this place has held your heart.”

Attendees were in for a surprise Sabbath morning regarding the capital campaign to improve the school facilities. Last summer, the campaign began with a total goal of $1.5 million and a target of raising $800,000 by 2024 alumni weekend. $400,000 was raised, and the Southern California Conference (SCC) presented a matching check for $395,000. SCC also presented a check for $7,500 to the school in honor of 75 years.

During the church service, Pacific Union Conference President Bradford Newton shared an encouraging message about God’s grace in offering us a U-turn in life. Aimee Saesim Leukert (’98), author of Thriving: 31 Stories on the Impact of Adventist Education, encouraged attendees about the power of community. “The conversations with teachers who loved you, who prayed for you, who fought for you—that’s in your history,” she said. “And in case you have forgotten that,…we are here to be your rauti—to remind you of who you were and who you can be. Still, because God is still calling you, you’re not done.”

Click here to watch the Sabbath morning livestream