Owensboro couple, the Rev. Donald and Anna Cole, honored at Owensboro campaign event

Owensboro couple, the Rev. Donald and Anna Cole, honored at Owensboro campaign event

Sept. 11, 2014
For Immediate Release

The Rev. Don and Anna Cole of Owensboro received a Servant Leadership Award for their work with Campbellsville University. From left are: Paula Smith, director of alumni relations; Cole, Mrs. Cole, Dr. Michael V. Carter, president; and Benji Kelly, vice president for development. (Campbellsville University Photo by Drew Tucker)

By Drew Tucker, communications assistant

OWENSBORO, Ky. – “As we think about the future, we’re not going to shy away from wanting Campbellsville University to be a life changing experience for each and every student,” Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of CU, said at CU’s Campaign for the Commonwealth alumni event in Owensboro, Ky.

Carter said CU is committed to providing an “absolutely outstanding academic experience.”

“Our commitment is to make sure that we’re producing world changers for Christ and genuine servant leaders,” he said. “We’re excited about the future and excited about what God is doing on our campus.”

Benji Kelly, vice president for development, said this campaign is about changing lives and creating Christian servant leaders.

“CU’s mission has not changed over the last 107 years of Christian higher education in Campbellsville,” he said.

Developed from CU’s Vision 2025 document, which gives goals for CU to achieve before the year 2025, fundraising for CU has made education affordable through aid, grant and endowment scholarships, as well as annual support and new buildings for programs, according to Kelly.

“As of Aug. 31, we have added 19 new endowed scholarships,” he said. “You are making a difference in the life of our students.”

He said the campaign has allowed CU to expand its faculty, hiring 54 new faculty members since the beginning of the campaign, allowing CU to keep the student-to-faculty ratio low.

“On average,” he said, “each class will have about 13 students, and the teacher will know you by name.”

“You’re not a number; you’re a person, and you’re valued on our campus,” Carter said.

Marcus Rodgers, a junior from Campbellsville, Ky., said, “You’re going to receive a good education at Campbellsville, and it will be tough, but something that has even more value to me is being in a Christian environment.”


Dr. Michael V. Carter, left, talks with Josh
Houk, a 2008 graduate, at the Owensboro
event. Houk is holding his son, Josiah.
(Campbellsville  University Photo by Drew

Carter said CU has a very innovative freshman year experience class, which is in its tenth year, called FIRST CLASS.

“It’s a very powerful and moving service at Ransdell Chapel [the on-campus chapel],” he said. “It’s literally the first class you have as a freshman.”

Kelly said FIRST CLASS had over 100 professions of faith in its first service of the semester.

“Last year we had 280 in total,” he said. “Your investment is making a difference.”

“Teaching is our very core of why we’re there,” said Carter, “but undergirded we are Christ-centered. We believe teaching the Christian worldview is really about learning how to live life and be a person of character. We believe in order to get a full education, we’re not only teaching the mind, but we’re also teaching the heart.”

Rodgers said he’s an education major, and wants to be able to influence somebody with his job.

“I thought that teaching gave me the platform to do that,” he said. “I do have a heart for students in high school, and I want to try to help them along.”

He said he chose education as his major largely in part because he enjoyed high school so much, and ended up touring three schools for college; two private and one public. He had always assumed private schools would be the most expensive, but discovered the public university would be more expensive for him, and ended up at CU because of the scholarships and assistance he could receive.

“To donors, alumni and friends of Campbellsville, I have to thank you for making Campbellsville affordable for me,” he said. “Thank you for making that possible for myself and 3,600 others on campus.”

Carter said CU has less debt than all of the public and private universities in the Commonwealth, and this campaign will help create scholarships.

As a private school, Campbellsville is also one of the most diverse campuses in the Commonwealth, according to Carter, who said, “We believe it’s an important quality for a Christian university. With the disputes that are happening globally, we have to find a way to bridge those gaps. With Ransdell Chapel student participation, it gives us the opportunity to share our Christian mission.”

CU also offers chapel online, the first of its kind, for online students and students at CU’s education centers in Louisville and Somerset.

“Higher education is changing,” Carter said. “If we’re going to remain committed to our beliefs we have to change that mode of reaching out, and we’ve done that.”

Benji Kelly, vice president for development, speaks to the largest crowd of the Campaign for the
Commonwealth events so far. (Campbellsville University Photo by Drew Tucker)

Kelly said CU stepped up when Kentucky needed a special education program, expanded the Carver School of Social Work and Counseling, and is the only institution in Kentucky that has a licensed TV and radio station.

During the event, the Rev. Don and Anna Cole of Providence, Ky. were honored with a Servant Leadership Award for their work with Campbellsville University.

Paula Smith, director of alumni relations, invited everyone to visit campus and attend Family Weekend on Sept. 19-20, Homecoming on Oct. 10-11 and Preview Day on Oct. 25.

Anna-Marie Pavy, admissions counselor, spoke with eight prospective students, including Ashley Newton of Owensboro.

“I’m excited to go to Campbellsville because it’s the only Christian school I could find that has a theater program,” Newton said.

The event was held at Moonlite Bar-B-Q in Owensboro.

Photos from the event can be found on CU’s Flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/campbellsvilleedu/sets/72157647088946448/.

The next dates for CU’s Campaign for the Commonwealth are: Sept. 16 in Bowling Green; Sept. 30 in Frankfort; Oct. 14 in Paducah; and Nov. 20 in Florence.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,600 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, 5 postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is campbellsville.edu.

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