Lynay serves the university as a service-learning program promoting leadership and building community through diversity.
Created by Vice President of the University, Dr. Gary McCaleb, this organization operates as the student component of the Center of Building Community and prepares its members to live out the university’s mission statement of “Christian service and leadership throughout the world.”
Since Lynay’s inception 13 years ago, the group has grown from accepting 100 students to 200.
Lea Watkins, assistant to Dr. McCaleb and advisor of Lynay, said the group is made up of diverse students from different majors and cultures.
Dr. McCaleb believes bringing together a wide range of students is an important aspect of the organization.
“A lot of times the diversity of whatever kind is what makes people uncomfortable in being together, so this is the idea of overcoming diversity to build community.”
Potential members go through an interview and application process before being granted membership.
Despite what seems as an exclusive group, Lynay member Stefanie Lazcano says members can be anyone who wants to make a difference.
“There are two types of people in Lynay, leaders and exemplary followers,” Lazcano, a senior communications major from The Colony, said. “I don’t see myself as a leader, but there is something that Dr. McCaleb saw.”
Other student members of Lynay attest to the importance of community, leadership, diversity and the impact the organization has had on their lives.
Ian Dowl knew from his first visit to ACU he wanted to be involved in the Lynay program. Now a senior, Dowl realizes the impact the organization has had on his life.
“The group brings together people you might not otherwise meet. There is a great sense of community,” the senior family studies major from Dallas said.
Lozcano also aspired to be involved with Lynay before coming to ACU.
“My brother was in Lynay and I always heard him talking about it,” Lozcano said. “He was a person who made impressions on people, and I looked up to him for that. So it seemed like something I would be interested in.”
With over 200 members, there are many other stories about the impact Lynay has had in students’ lives.
“The situations presented by Lynay promote growth, personally and in the lives of others,” Lozcano said. “I think it creates more chances to make a difference.”