The Charles B. Keesee Educational Fund granted Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) $200,000 for technology upgrades. The renovations will begin in Spring 2014.
In 1941, the Keesee Fund was established by Mr. and Mrs. Charles B. Keesee of Martinsville, Va., for the purpose of “aiding worthy men and women to obtain an education.” More than $3 million in grants are given to approximately 700 applicants annually.
Over the past 20 years, the Keesee Foundation has provided $15 million in direct scholarship funding to SEBTS students. When graduates depart without the burden of high educational debt, they are able to serve wherever God calls. Since 2006, 1,278 SEBTS students have been supported by the Keesee Foundation.
Dr. Daniel Akin, president of SEBTS, said, “I am personally thankful for the way the Charles B. Keesee Educational Fund has blessed so many of our students for so many years now with their generous scholarships.”
Today, SEBTS is the largest accredited seminary on the east coast with nearly 3,100 students. Theological education is changing rapidly with ever-evolving advances in global communications and technology. A key institutional priority is the expansion of technological resources to assist professors in equipping the next generation of preachers, counselors, teachers and missionaries.
“I am also appreciative for this most recent grant that will allow us to upgrade the teaching technology in one of our main classroom buildings, Adams Hall,” Akin said.
Built in 1933 and named The William Amos Johnson Medical Building in memory of Dr. Johnson, professor of anatomy, the building was originally home of The Wake Forest School of Medicine. In 1982, the building was renamed Adams Hall in memory of Theodore Floyd Adams, pastor of First Baptist Church, Richmond, Va.
Adams Hall is now the largest classroom facility on campus. It served 1,787 students in the fall and spring semesters of 2013. Bruce Ashford, provost of SEBTS, said, “On behalf of the faculty of SEBTS, I wish to thank the Keesee Foundation for a generous grant which will upfit the technological capabilities of each classroom in Adams Hall.”
SEBTS is eager to upgrade these nine classrooms for the first time in 29 years. This modernization will create an educational environment conductive for learning in the 21st century and transform the educational experience for thousands of students.
Classroom media communication systems are a major part of the upgrade. “Each classroom in Adams will feature new computers, TV monitors, and ‘smart’ podiums, so SEBTS’ students will have access to the latest technological innovations which will enhance their learning experience,” Ashford included.
These systems also enable professors to display and communicate PowerPoint notes, book excerpts, manuscripts, instructional videos and Skype calls. In addition, this system allows for the capturing of course lectures. This is highly beneficial to Southeastern students and the institution as it allows students to readily access lectures on an as-needed, on-demand basis to review content for study and clarification. Lectures are also available online to distance learning students unable to relocate to Wake Forest, N.C.
SEBTS and the Keesee Foundation are partnering together to equip students to make a difference in the world for Christ.
“Their generosity will help the professors in their teaching and the students in their learning. Ultimately, this will have a part in impacting those in the Baptist churches that our students leave here to lead and disciple,” Akin said.
The mission of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by equipping students to serve the church and fulfill the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). Southeastern is an institution of higher learning and a Cooperate Program ministry of the Southern Baptist Convention.