By Colter Hettich, Features Editor
In keeping with the Olympic spirit and ACU tradition, the 103rd Opening Day Ceremony commenced with a Big Purple rendition of Olympic Fanfare and Theme. Faculty paraded into Moody Coliseum, followed by the traditional Parade of Flags in which more than 100 flags represented the diversity of this year’s student body.
ACU President Dr. Royce Money welcomed the crowd, and then recognized and thanked all the international students. Money expressed his excitement regarding the coming year and the amount of global attention this year’s freshman class has received.
“More than 1,000 new students are sitting here today, … and they have been scrutinized by media across the world,” Money said.
After the traditional singing of All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name and scripture reading, Students’ Association president Daniel Paul Watkins welcomed all in attendance, officially announced his cabinet and delivered a few words of encouragement, urging his listeners to seize the present to better themselves.
“Unlike fine wine, I don’t just naturally get better with age,” Watkins said.
Many distinguished guests joined Monday’s crowd, including ACU’s 9th president Dr. William J. Teague, his wife Margaret, the featured speaker, California Sen. Jack Scott (D – Altadena) and his wife Lacreta.
Scott, ’54, has served as senator for California’s 21st District since 2000 and will assume the role of statewide chancellor of the California community college system when his second term expires on Jan. 1, 2009.
Scott holds a Master of Divinity from Yale University and a Ph.D. in American history from Claremont Graduate University. After 10 years as a teacher and administrator at Pepperdine, he spent five years as dean of instruction at Orange Coast College and in 1978 became the president of Cypress College, the third largest community college in the nation.
Scott spoke on the U.S. citizen’s responsibilities to God and country. He not only stressed the importance of service, but also the importance of voting by commenting on the current violence in Zimbabwe.
“If the right to vote means so much to them, then surely we should take the time to vote and do it with a great deal of thought,” Scott said. “This is an important election, and I want you to weight [the] issues carefully.”
Scott continued encouraging students to be involved in public office, but made clear that “responsibility to God is the primary loyalty.”
“If good people refuse to seek office because of the possibility of conflict, then whom do we leave the public office to?” Scott said. “But I can guarantee you… in the long run, it’s not going to be what you get, it’s going to be what you give. And so my parting words are simply these: serve, serve and serve again.”