crowd with candles at sunset

Passing the Panther Flame Through the Generations

Alumni returned to campus recently to participate in one of Chapman’s favorite traditions: passing the flame of knowledge to the newest class of Chapman students during the annual candle lighting ceremony.

As the sun set over the Aitken Arts Plaza and a gentle glow of candlelight spread across the faces of those gathered, the mood of excitement and anticipation was almost palpable, especially for alumni parents, who were proud to share this family legacy with their children. 

“Seeing Ryan become a Panther truly fills my heart with so much joy,” said Paula Yakubik ’94. “My years at Chapman were some of the best, and I am confident he will have an equally memorable experience. I can’t wait for him to experience his first year of college, living in the dorms and going Greek.”

Kristin Bents ‘87 was equally enthusiastic about her daughter, Saylor Bents. beginning her Chapman journey.

“She is carrying on the legacy of a wonderful education and the opportunity to actually get to know her professors. [My advice is to] have a great time, try to experience everything.”

Here’s some more great advice from alumni parents for their children and the Class of 2027:

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Joanna Parchan ‘98 and Shawn Parchan ‘99 - Katelyn Parchan

Gathered with their children and fellow alumni during this year's Candle Lighting ceremony, Panther Parents shared some good advice with their new students about making the most of their time at Chapman.

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Breann Shook ‘03 & Alexandria (Alex) Shook

``There is so much to be involved in but also a group of teachers and staff who truly want the best for them. Take the time to talk to them and get to know them ... They are not only helpful but will guide you through your time and Chapman and beyond!``

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Juan Carlos Vélez (MBA ‘06) & Brianna Vélez

``Be open to explore current and new passions. Try new things, join new classes, and be open to new ideas and opportunities. Every new experience will help you discover your future self.``

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Charlene Marie-Lohaus Decker ‘91 & Cassie Lohaus

``Chapman seems to continue to be a constant, ever-growing relationship with my family. This school offers so much while you are in school, but it also offers a lot after you get out of school.``

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Julian Gates (attended until 1999) & Gavin Gates

``Hopefully like me, Gavin will meet some lifelong friends. So get out there and mingle! It is an amazing feeling to watch my son follow in my footsteps at a school that gave so much to me. My advice is to try everything! Fail a lot and you will learn to succeed.``

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Lisa Bradley ‘86 & Broderick (Brody) Bradley

``My advice to incoming students is to work hard in everything you do, but don’t forget to take time to enmesh yourself in every aspect of college life.``

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Susie Arriaga ‘23 & Steven Arriaga

``To all my fellow Panthers, please enjoy the experience, make friends/connections, and never hesitate to ask for help or an opportunity. Everyone at Chapman is always willing to give an opportunity, especially to those who ask for them.``

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Kelly Burroughs ‘93 (MBA ‘99), Jeff Burroughs ‘96 & Cameron Burroughs

``Get outside of your comfort zone ... be open to new experiences and types of people. Attend events – sports, performances, lectures, etc. ... 'Buy in.'``