Record number of freshmen inducted in special service

Record number of freshmen inducted in special service

Aug. 25, 2009 

For Immediate Release

Dr.Michael V. Carter, CU president, welcomes freshmen from Cadiz, Ky., Laura BethBaggett, left, and Shane Banks. They were in attendance at the first Service ofDedication held in Ransdell Chapel to welcome and induct the Class of 2013.(Campbellsville University photo by Andre Tomaz)

Dr. Frank Cheatham, vice president for academic affairs at CU, is pictured with freshman President’s Scholar Haley Brinker, left, daughter of Doug and Nancy Brinker of Georgetown, Ky., and at right, CU mentor Laura Clark, a senior educational ministries major from Bowling Green, Ky. (Campbellsville University photo by Linda Waggener)

Campbellsville University’s Class of 2013 inducted with inaugural Service of Dedication in Ransdell Chapel 

By Linda Waggener, feature writer

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – A new tradition was born at Campbellsville University Saturday with a Service of Dedication featuring the Lamp of Learning being passed to the freshmen of the Class of 2013. The service was held in Ransdell Chapel to officially welcome and bless the students who began their first semester of college Monday, August 24. 

President Michael V. Carter said, “Thank you for being here for this historic chapel service as we enter into a time of dedication for the Class of 2013. Our collective prayer from the faculty, staff, and coaches is that you find a sense of your calling while at CU.”

He told the students that while they would ask many ontological questions about being, and teleological questions as they wonder about design and purpose in life, that the most important question of all might be that of what motivates each of them as individuals.

Sharing some of his own college experiences, he said his most important was a question to the girl who would lead him to the Lord Jesus Christ and become his wife – that of what gave her the light, the joy he saw in her. 

“My wife and I have been married 36 years,” he said, introducing Mrs. Debra Carter. “As our relationship grew during college, I saw a joy in her that was unique, special, different. I wanted that joy.” He said that as he came to know her, he understood that the light he saw in her was the relationship she had with Jesus Christ. 

Carter said that as he grew in knowledge of Jesus, he realized that the joy he sought comes from serving others -- not in being served. He noted the Gospel of John 15:11, where Jesus is recorded to have said, “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

“We believe that the experience within the liberal arts allows a Christian to be most effective in our world today and we believe that there is intrinsic joy that comes from knowing the Lord Jesus Christ which pervades all the rest of life.”

Dr. Frank Cheatham, vice president for academic affairs, passed the Lamp of Learning to Class of 2013 President’s Scholar Haley Brinker. Looking on are Jon Hansford, director of First Year Experience at CU, who organized the event, and, at right, Scotty Lane Clenney, who received her bachelor of science from Campbellsville University in 1963 and is responsible for the university’s official seal design. (Campbellsville University photo by Linda Waggener). 

Continuing the service, Dr. Frank Cheatham, vice president for academic affairs at CU, introduced Scotty Lane Clenney, a freshman at then Campbellsville College in 1959 who received her bachelor of science in 1963 and is responsible for the university’s official seal.

Clenney brought greetings from Allen and Warren counties and noted that when she sat where the new class sits today, she had no idea that she was beginning a journey of her life and wondered where she might have wound up had it not been for her Christian education. 

“I was scared,” she said, “sitting there thinking, how can I study enough, how can I pass, how can I make friends, how can I pay for all this?” She said that the one thing she did have was a big determination and that she hoped today’s freshmen will stick around to get their degree.

With her seal displayed on a slide behind her as she spoke, she said, “my art class was asked to give ideas for what an official seal ought to look like. I was so shy I was almost too intimidated to submit my idea.” Determination to stay and to overcome negative thoughts of discouragement made her turn her idea anyway -- the Campbellsville University seal used to this day. 

She explained that the Lamp of Learning represents the lighting of a student’s spiritual and academic life in “scholarship, leadership and fellowship.”

Clenney wished the freshmen well. “I want you to succeed,” she said, “Your leaders here want you to succeed and God wants you to succeed.” She said that she wanted hugs from them when she comes back for homecoming in October.

Jon Hansford, director of the First Year Experience at CU, said that the sketch came to life in the carving of the Lamp of Learning to become a symbol for students as Christian servant leaders, “ones who not only will walk in the light, but ones who will choose to light the path for others.”

Cheatham invited Haley Brinker of the Class of 2013 to accept the President’s Charge for the freshmen to find their calling at CU. 

“As a Presidential Scholar,” Cheatham said, “she represents and exemplifies the desire for higher education.”

He picked up the Lamp of Learning and gave it to Haley, keeping one hand on the opposite handle so they were both holding it at the same time, then said, “The Lamp of Learning symbolizes your move from high school to the collegiate level and your taking of responsibility for that. May you be faithful in your studies and follow the example of Jesus Christ to become Christian servant leaders.”

The students’ response was, “With our word of honor we commit to be diligent and engaged members of our new academic and learning community; to seek ways to serve others as we journey through life.”

Brinker took the lamp and sat it on its pillar as the Class of 2013 induction was completed. 

Hansford asked the mentors, instructors, and distinguished guests to form a circle around the Class of 2013 for the closing prayer of blessing.

Campbellsville University is a private, comprehensive institution located in South Central Kentucky. Founded in 1906, Campbellsville University is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention and has an enrollment of 2,601 students who represent 93 Kentucky counties, 27 states and 31 foreign nations. Listed in U.S.News & World Report’s 2010 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 23rd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” and 4th in the south's "Up-and-Coming Schools". CU has been ranked 17 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges® and is recognized by G.I. Jobs as a Military Friendly School. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his 11th year as president.   


Students settled into Ransdell Chapel for a freshman class photo during the Welcome Weekend Extravaganza.? (Campbellsville University photo by Linda Waggener)


Photographer Ken Pierce had to be lifted up to the highest part of the chapel in order to capture all the members of the Class of 2013 seated before him. (Campbellsville University photo by Linda Waggener)