By Melanie J. Knox, Page Editor
Some things were the same for Opening Ceremonies Monday: the band walked into Moody with new uniforms; the faculty followed with robes and colors, Dr. Royce Money, president of the university, welcomed the assembly; and Opening Ceremonies commenced for the 97th time.
But there was one major difference Monday: the presence of video cameras.
ACU contacted Phillips Productions, Inc., about creating a documentary video of
Opening Ceremonies that would be about 30 minutes long. Phillips Productions, Inc., has already worked with ACU on a number of other videos, including a video on the past capital campaign entitled “To Lead and to Serve,” a follow-up of that after the election, and a video presentation for the President’s Circle.
Martin Perry, class of ’82, is the production manager and director of corporate production at Phillips Productions Inc.
“This is a tremendous event that deserves production,” Perry said. “My perspective as an alum makes this a special honor for me. We are very proud of our relationship with ACU, and through our work with the school, we feel that we are contributing to the mission here of changing the world.”
In the cermonies, Don Crisp, chair of the Board of Trustees, led the students in prayer for the family of Stanley Shipp, who was killed in a car accident this weekend and for Bill Teague, chancellor, who suffered a stroke this summer.
Another tradition that continued this year was the parade of flags, which represented the students that come to ACU from 64 nations and 49 states. The international flags were presented first, in alphabetical order, then the states in alphabetical order as well, with the exception of Texas, which came last.
“The parade of flags is important because it shows our diversity,” said Glenda Knight, director of university events. “It is a colorful visual expression of the people represented at ACU.”
ACU has a large inventory of flags from countries and states, which were first donated by the O.P. Leonard family and are now maintained by James and Jane Anthony of Fort Worth.
Dr. Prentice Meador, pulpit minister for Prestoncrest Church of Christ and member of the Board of Trustees, spoke on “Chaos to Calm.”
Money asked Meador to deal with the war and tragedy that has been experienced by the university, as this is the first academic opening since Sept. 11.
“I want students to walk away with a sense of why they are at ACU, their identity and significance,” Meador said. “They need to know that they have a purpose, regardless of their major or training, and should realize that we are all both Americans and Christians.”
Meador emphasized that God did not make any ordinary people, rather, all people have come down from the heart of God, and though tragedies may be out of a human’s experience they are not out of a human’s faith.
“Our work is not out of control, even though we are in the midst of a chaotic war,” Meador said. “ACU stands for brotherhood, peace, values and faith, and that will make a difference.”
Chapel ended with a patriotic flair as the crowd joined in the Pledge of Allegiance, watched the unfurling of a giant American flag and sang the “Star-Spangled Banner.”
“The entire Chapel went very well,” Perry said. “I am told by my crew that they achieved their goals, but really this entire event just speaks for itself.”