At the beginning of every school year, we have our President’s Convocation; a time to reflect on the past year, as well as the year we are embarking on. At this year’s convocation we also reflected on the 125 years of Lipscomb as an institution and how that has grown and changed throughout the decades. We remembered the beginnings of our university, when it was only a small Bible school, and David Scobey, chair of the Lipscomb University Board of Trustees, reminded us that, “Beginnings matter, without the beginning; we wouldn’t be here.”
Deborah Boyd, dean of the College of Education, brought to us a challenge, a challenge for excellence. While we can often get caught up in the idea that we have to do something excellent at least once in our lives, Boyd encouraged us to view and think about excellence in a different light. “We are what we repeatedly do,” she said. “Excellence is in the day-to-day.” Boyd also reminded us of the verse in Ecclesiastes that says, “whatever your hands find to do, do it with all your might…”
After these reflections on our past and challenge to continue in excellence, Dr. Lowry reminded us of some of the things Lipscomb as a university has recently achieved.
U.S. News and World Report’s “2016 America’s Best Colleges” guidebook named Lipscomb among the South’s nine most innovative universities, and we are now considered a doctoral university, which Dr. Lowry pointed out only holds true for seven percent of the nation’s universities. In addition, he recognized the newly renovated parts of Johnson Hall, a female residence hall on campus, as well as the near completion of the new Fields Engineering building. Along with these big and important accomplishments, President Lowry also recognized small feats including additional parking spaces and the commitment from faculty and staff to take a shuttle to work in an effort to free up parking spots and put students first in this academic and faith-based community.
Even though Lipscomb has accomplished so much throughout the years, there are areas we can still strive to be better, more knowledgeable and more prepared in for our changing world. Dr. Lowry highlighted in his address to the audience, the desire to prepare us for a diverse world. If you ever attended a Lipscomb Convocation ceremony, one of the things that is hard to ignore are the flags lining the stage. The many states, countries and nations that are represented on our campus are impressive and exciting. Lowry noted that while some respected institutions aim to make their student body fit a particular look or feel, we are welcoming diversity onto our campus, in an effort to reflect the diversity that we will come to experience as we begin to live in the world, outside of the Lipscomb community. Lowry said, “The world needs people who will understand diversity, and be able to work within it in, in a way that represents Christ.”
As a student attending convocation, it is very exciting to see what all the university I attend has accomplished. Many of my friends back home went to public universities, which is great, and I know each of my friends have a college experience that they enjoy, but I can’t help but feel proud to say that I go to Lipscomb University and boast about the unique opportunities that it offers to me and many others. The community that I get to be apart of every day, as well as the push towards excellence year-after-year makes me so proud to be a student here. It’s exciting to see what this next school year brings for me, individually as a student, as well as what opportunities Lipscomb has as a community for continued growth and excellence.