CU holds ‘Campaign for the Commonwealth’; Smith honored

CU holds ‘Campaign for the Commonwealth’; Smith honored

May 16, 2014
For Immediate Release

Malinda Smith, second from left, receives the Servant Leadership Award at the “Campaign for the Commonwealth” event in Stanford, Ky. From left are: Benji Kelly, vice president for development; Smith; Paula Smith, director of alumni relations; and Dr. Michael V. Carter, president. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joan C. McKinney)

By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Campbellsville University graduate Jacqueline Nelson interned with U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and with Ky. State Sen. David Givens (R-Greensburg, Ky.). They were experiences that were “valuable to my future” she said and which she concludes she might not have had had she not gone to Campbellsville University.

Nelson, who graduated May 3 with a double major in history and political science, was the guest speaker at the Stanford/Danville “Campaign for the Commonwealth” event at Kentucky Depot Restaurant in Stanford, Ky. May 15.

During the event, Malinda Smith of Danville, Ky., a 1957 Campbellsville University graduate who serves on the CU Board of Trustees, was given a Servant Leadership Award for her work with CU.

“I’m proud to be an alumna of CU,” Smith said in accepting the award. Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of the CU, called her a “faithful board member.”

Nelson thanked Smith and all alumni and friends at the dinner for their financial support and prayers that have allowed her to “support and make my dreams realities.”

She told of her mother, Debbie Nelson, who lost her job at Fruit of the Loom when Jacqueline was a small child.
Debbie Nelson enrolled at Campbellsville and earned her bachelor’s degree and, “She instilled a love of CU in me,” Jacqueline said. “I felt the love and passion she had for CU.”

Nelson plans to attend the University of Kentucky in the fall to obtain a law degree.


Jessica Whitaker Page (’05) and Alleena Koss Van Horn (’04) talk with their children, Carlee Page, and Emmit Van Horn at the event. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joan C. McKinney)


Benji Kelly, vice president for development, said the previous campaign funds have allowed for the hiring of about 40 new faculty members as well as new academic programs and buildings including the Ransdell Chapel. He said the endowment has grown and must continue to assure long-term support for CU.

He said 19 scholarships have been endowed, and over 5,200 supporters donated in the last campaign with 3,200 of them first-time givers.

The CU Campaign “Our Time, This Place, The Next Century Campaign for Campbellsville University,” (of which the “Campaign for the Commonwealth” is a part), has raised $31.8 million out of the $61.1 million goal.

“A lot of individuals believe in what we do at CU,” Kelly said. “There is no greater time for Christian higher education at Campbellsville than now.”

He said it is an exciting time on campus, and he urged alumni who have not visited their alma mater to do so.
Carter gave an update to those attending about Campbellsville University and what the campaign means to the university.

Carter is finishing his 15th year as president of Campbellsville University, and he said there were a record 1,100 students living on the main campus in fall 2013.

“Campbellsville University is an amazing place, and I’m extremely honored to be serving here,” he said.

He said there are over 40 different countries represented on campus and over 60 languages spoken on campus.

“We feel the call of God on our mission to provide an absolute stellar education at Campbellsville University,” he said. “We are doing our part for world peace.”

He said when he reads the Beatitudes in Matthew he is reminded of how the faculty, staff and coaches of CU “embrace those qualities.”

Carter said CU has over 11,000 alumni, and he urged the alumni to “think what your life would be like if you weren’t at CU and if CU did not exist.”

He said tuition at CU remains as low as possible and CU students graduate with the lowest amount of debt at any other university in the Commonwealth of Kentucky except for the work schools.

“We work hard at Campbellsville to offer different programs where Christ is lifted up and is the center of the university. We take students and love them. Lives are being changed on our campus,” he said.

He cited one program that has changed lives is the FIRST CLASS, first-year experience program for freshmen. The program, under Dr. Ted Taylor’s leadership, has led over 105 students to make decisions for Christ. He said FIRST CLASS was begun with funding by Jess Correll of Stanford.

“We are not ashamed of who we are. We are embracing tough issues, and serious discussions can take place on campus. We can discuss items with grace and dignity,” he said.

He quoted 1 Peter 3:15 which says: “…always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” He said CU tries to instill this idea in the lives of her students.

“We are proud of you. Thank you for your belief in CU. We will always be there for you. We are a people of faith,” Carter said.

Paula Smith, right, director of alumni relations
at Campbellsville University, gives Alma Canada
a hug at the “Campaign for the Commonwealth”
event in Stanford, Ky. (Campbellsville University
Photo by Joan C. McKinney)

Paula Smith, director of alumni relations, said CU changes lives. She thanked those for coming to the event.

Kelly asked those attending to do four things for CU: 1. Pray for CU; 2. Contact CU with the names of any students who would be interested in Christian higher education; 3. Think of individuals you know who support Christian higher education; and 4. Consider prayerfully supporting Campbellsville University.

For pictures of the event, go to

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

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