Charting the Future: Welcome Back to Campus
As I do every year, I have prepared a welcome video to greet our whole community as we begin a new academic year. It focuses on my deepest hope and prayer: that this year we will receive a mighty outpouring of grace and the revival of our love for God. Northwest University is a Jesus-first institution. Christ is the center of all we do and the reason for it all.
Welcome back to everyone, in all your distinct roles and functions. The work of a Christian university requires a broad network of participants, although many people may automatically and anachronistically think only of professors and students along the lines of what the ill-fated U.S. President James Garfield conceived as an ideal university: “Mark Hopkins on one end of a log and a student on the other.”
In today’s higher education, the professor and student may be logged in on their computers, requiring the work of many unseen IT professionals, instructional designers, and other staff members. Universities today depend on many “invisible” employees, from cafeteria workers to physical plant maintenance to security officers to student development personnel to accountants to financial aid specialists, et cetera.
Employees and students, however, only make up the tip of the iceberg. Underneath them lie parents, churches, internship providers across the full range of professions, donors, prayer warriors, vendors, and many others. As we welcome everyone to the new school year, I reflect on the whole network that makes our work successful. Whatever your role, I hope you know how much we appreciate your contributions, and I hope you’ll take time to watch the attached video. I also pray that you will be empowered by God in all your work. As the ancient blessing says, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14 ESV).