By Mitch Holt, Copy Editor
The Lunsford family dedicated the Lunsford Trail to the university in Chapel Monday, almost a year after the November 2005 ground breaking.
“I think it’s important that we do this in Chapel, where all of you are gathered, because the gifts that brought this trail to campus were given with you in mind,” said Dr. Royce Money, president of the university, to the student body in the ceremony’s opening remarks.
Money said the trail is a blessing because he used to see students jogging and cycling around campus “just inches from traffic,” and it worried him.
Representing the Lunsford family, Richard, Holt and Hayden Lunsford, three different generations within the family, presented brief descriptions of the family’s intentions behind the construction of the trail.
Holt Lunsford was the first of the three to present, and he said the family was looking for a way to give back to the university that would directly benefit the students, faculty and campus for a long time to come.
“Our idea was to bring a place that builds community,” Holt said to the assembly. “We wanted this to be a 24/7 environment where people could exercise during the day or the evening.”
The Lunsfords, Holt said, compiled each family member’s favorite scripture and placed each scripture on the different trailheads and stops throughout the path. He said these scriptures and the several elements along the way were designed to inspire in the trail’s users contemplation, prayer and the reading of scripture.
“We wanted it to be a place of reflection,” Holt said, “a place where students and faculty and members of the community could come and be quiet or read scripture or be inspired to develop not only the body, but the spirit of the body.”
The Lunsfords’ vision for the trail came at a time when the university struggled with funding the project, and it quickly became a project about more than physical exercise. Holt said the family, which donated the funds for the Quiet Place in the Onstead-Packer Biblical Studies Building, planned extensively the layout of the trail. Each verse and trailhead was carefully chosen and designed.
Money said the Lunsford family has a great legacy at the university and a “history of creating quiet, inspirational settings on campus.”
Planners are getting ready to give the go-ahead to connect the Lunsford Trail to Jacob’s Dream, providing another segment of the project for students, faculty and community members, Money said.