Board of Visitors and Trustees attend first-ever Southeastern Homecoming
January 19, 2017
by Michael McEwen
The Board of Visitors and Trustees arrived Sunday for a three-day event that involved serving, voting, and maintaining the present and future economy of Southeastern.
Beginning the Fall 2011 Board of Visitors Meeting, Kenny Getz welcomed the Visitors from the context of Eitel Missions Auditorium. Opening the day in prayer then moving into the presidential address and departmental reports, Daniel Akin summarized the events of Southeastern for the past six months. He touched on the topics of Southeastern’s mission trips, the representation of Southeastern at the past Southern Baptist Convention, as well as the current enrollment of the school, Akin said, “The prediction some fifteen to twenty years ago was that Southeastern would not survive, and looking at the numbers today, that prediction was severely flawed. The current enrollment of 2,800 students proves otherwise.”
In chapel on Tuesday, Akin noted that it is ripe time to elect an African-American as president for the Convention of Southern Baptists. He said, “As of this moment ‘the SBC remains a mostly middle-class, mostly white network of mostly declining churches in the southern United States of America.’ Those are the undeniable facts and that must change or we will die.” He mentioned the serious problem is seen not only in southern states but pervasive in all Southern Baptist churches across America. Explicit and implicit in most churches, especially in the Southern Baptist realm, is the racial bigotry, Akin said.
Akin expressed that fruitfulness today may entail fruitfulness forever for Southern Baptists. As a denomination, he reminded, Southern Baptists cannot promise one thing and deliver another in light of the challenge Jesus has set before us.
During their business session the Board of Trustees officially promoted Dr. Sam Williams to Professor of Counseling. Williams, who received his B.S. from the University of Arizona and his M.A. and Ph.D. from California School of Professional Psychology, has been teaching at Southeastern since 2000.
Addressing future expansion and renovation plans at Southeastern, Ryan Hutchinson––Senior Vice President for Business Administration––articulated to the Boards the current hopes for building a more efficient, more welcoming campus. Hutchinson communicated about a future welcome center, renovations of Stealey and Appleby Halls, and additional constructions on the campus library. “These projects,” said Hutchinson, “are what we hope to accomplish and our prayer is to be wise financial stewards so that we may bring in more students to minister to all peoples.”
Larry Griffith, M.Div. alumnus of Southeastern from 1980, attended the Homecoming event. Griffith, who has not been on the campus since his graduation, said, “I was very impressed with the expansion of the campus (new buildings), as well as with the expansion of the programs, including the addition of the college.” Griffith additionally noted his excitement in being able to meet much of the staff, faculty, and others affiliated with the school.
After offering much prayer and time in business sessions and a little informal leisure-time at the first-ever Homecoming, the Board of Visitors and Trustees sponsored and defended the hopes of Southeastern, which included helping finance future architectural and missional goals.