Opening Assembly took place in the newly renovated Moody Coliseum for the first time in three years.
Dr. Robert Rhodes, provost, gave the call the order. Other speakers include Dr. Suzie Macaluso, associate professor of sociology and gerontology, April Anthony, board of trustees chair and Dr. Jennifer T. Butcher, director of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Announcements were made about the current state of ACU by Phil Schubert, president of the university, including the largest enrollment in its history with over 5,900 students, between the Abilene campus and ACU Dallas.
“ACU continues to attract highly talented students from every region of Texas, the United States and around the world,” Schubert said.
An updated amount of the “Higher Ground” fundraiser was also revealed. After 6 months of the fundraiser going public over $209 million of the $250 million goal has been raised.
This fundraiser is intended to fund and develop programs on and off campus dealing with academics and student experiences.
Schubert continued to announce history with the university earning the Doctoral Professional University status as determined by the Carnegie Classification Institution of Higher Learning.
“This means ACU will be ranked among its peers as a national university,” Schubert said. “We aspire to be the best in the world at combining a world-class academic education in a Christ-centered environment.”
The assembly opened with a performance from the Big Purple Marching Band, and the Parade of Flags followed.
Each flag represents a current faculty’s or student’s homeland. This year the university presented 52 nations flags, the American flag being last.
It ended with a congressional rendition of “The Lord Bless You and Keep You,” led by Dr. Odis Wright, associate professor of kinesiology and nutrition.
The Opening Assembly is an ACU tradition that officially starts off the school year. It commenced the 117th session at 11 a.m.Monday.