From recruiting, to Wildcat Week, to this week, they weren’t lying when they said community makes ACU different.
What other school set aside racial barriers to pack 200 people of all races in one room to discuss Black Lives Matter?
Where else could students of both political parties come together to watch election results in the middle of the most dividing election of the millennium?
And what other community could join to mourn the loss of a single student?
Whether bonded by purple and white, or acapella music, students on this campus have deeper relationships than most people will ever have in their lifetime. Before we came to ACU, many of us heard about the “ACU difference” found in a close-knit community. We have events like Sing Song and Homecoming to celebrate this community, but it takes painful topics and circumstances to show us what community really means.
This week people grieved for the death of Katie Kirby and embraced the bereaved in many meaningful ways. Strangers put flowers and candles at the GATA fountain. Parents and alumni from all over the country offered prayers and financial support. Resident assistants, members of her social club, members of other social clubs, professors, friends, alumni and people who had never even met her honored her life.
She was only one student, but the ACU community could not let her pass unnoticed.
Elections come and go, racial tensions fluctuate, but this group of people will continue to build each other up as one body. We will face more tragedies and more divisive issues in the coming years, but we will continue to weave this purple and white narrative of strong community.