By Mallory Schlabach, Editor in Chief
After more than a year of celebration, the university’s 100th year came to a close Monday with the Second Century Convocation.
Delegates from 34 colleges and universities, more than 250 faculty members, alumni, and close to 2,100 students attended the hour-long ceremony that ended the string of events that began last August and totaled more than 68 guest speakers, concerts, art galleries, performances and dinners.
Before the convocation officially began, the audience had a moment of silence to remember the events that occurred five years ago on Sept. 11, 2001, in New York City at the World Trade Center, the over Pennsylvania. A reflective picture presentation of images from the terrorist attacks was shown during that time.
Dr. Paul Corts, president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities was one of the featured speakers, along with Dr. Royce Money, president of the university.
Corts began his speech, “A Call to Faith and Excellence for a Second Century,” by describing what Chapel might have looked like a century ago, when 200 faculty and students met for the first time at ACU, at that time known as Classic Childers Institute.
He spoke of the strengths of the university in keeping its doors open throughout the World Wars and during the Depression. He also spoke of two well-known alumni, Max Lucado, international best-selling Christian author, and David Leeson, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, who he said illustrates what it means to be salt and light in the world.
“At ACU, you will find your role is to write your story,” Corts said. “The questions is what will your story be?”
He said the generation represented by the student body is one supposedly more spiritual than generations before it and that he and other Christian leaders are excited to see what it will do in the world.
“Your challenge as students is to love, nurture and care for this place,” Corts said. “Keep it anchored in the Lord Jesus Christ, and let us never be ashamed of the name of Christ in these walls.”
Money responded to Corts charge to the university to be salt and light in the world and said the university can no longer do business as usual in the second century.
“We need to create students who think critically, globally and missionally,” Money said. “We will continue to call students to gain a deeper appreciation of all the violence, fraud and darkness in the world and help them to believe that they can make a difference, even if it is in their own neighborhood. For someone to simply light a candle is far better than one cursing the darkness.”
In addition to guest speakers, the Acapella Chorus, led by Dr. Mike Scarborough, director of choral activities and associate professor of music, performed “Ye Shall Have a Song,” from The Peaceable Kingdom, and a video recap of images from the past year dressed by musical composition “Centennial Fanfare,” written by Dr. M. L. Daniels Jr., was shown to attendees.
Dr. Michelle Morris, vice president for university relations, ended the convocation by thanking everyone for their support, help and participation in all the Centennial events and for envisioning the start of the university’s next 100 years.