The list of university budget cuts goes on about program reductions, department reformations and scholarship decreases. Hidden in the intimidating list of budget cuts are several people whose importance to ACU is hard to measure. Two of those people are Ted and Ellen Presley, a husband and wife team who work in the Center for International and Intercultural Education.
They have both worked for the university for about 19 years, spreading their knowledge of international issues and love of international students throughout campus.
The list of jobs and roles Ted Presley has held is extensive. He is currently or has executive director of the CIIE, chair of the University Admissions Committee, liaison for the Study Abroad Visiting Committee, and has taught English as a second language, English, anthropology, and international studies classes.
Ellen Presley has served as coordinator, counselor and adviser of many international student organizations on campus. She organized Study Abroad in Germany and has done considerable work with international alumni by starting Homecoming activities and creating a directory for them.
Beyond their office jobs, both spend countless hours aiding international students and helping them transition to this country. Ellen said the couple had conducted a Bible study once a week at their house since 1985. They open their home to international students who need a place to stay for a few days; give rides to and from airports, dentists and doctors; and recruit international students for the university.
Kevin Kehl, associate director of the CIIE, said the most important aspect of the Presley’s lives is being Christian role models to the students, “many of whom do not come from a Christian background.”
The loss of the Presleys is unfortunate. Students at ACU have benefited from their love and knowledge; and Kehl said their impact on the CIIE will not be overlooked.
The university will lose experience, insight and Christian love in Ted and Ellen Presley and the others like them who have accepted early retirement have made a lasting impression on campus and in the community, we appreciate their service.