By Stan McKinney, assistant professor of journalism
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. –The Campbellsville University family gathered April 20 to remember and pray for Virginia Tech, our nation and the CU campus.
“We gather with a sense of overwhelmed grief,” Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, said during a prayer in the Ransdell Chapel that had been dedicated two days earlier.
He gave thanks to God for those at Virginia Tech who blocked doors and performed other acts of heroism to save lives.“They performed acts of unbelievable strength in the midst of unbelievable tragedy.” Carter also asked in his prayer, “What would we do if this came to our campus?”
We ask why, he said, and want to know “how someone could feel so lost and take the lives of others. We struggle with ‘how could this have been prevented?’ How can so much evil happen in so short a time to those who are innocent and have such a promising life?”
In his prayer, Carter asked that there be healing. “We ask for healing and somehow for the peace that can come from this,”
Carter said. “Help us to be more sensitive than ever before to the realization of pain and grief. Help our faith when in fact faith can be shaken by events such as this. Help us on this campus amidst our shortcomings.”
There is so much war and hurt in this world, Carter said. “We pray for peace. We pray for those who suffer,” he said.
Marciano Netto of Brazil sang during the service in the Ransdell Chapel.
Dave Walters, vice president for admissions and student services, coordinated the prayer service and asked those participating to pray silently for the families of those affected by the tragedy at Virginia Tech.
Justin Watson of Eddyville, Ky., president of Baptist Campus Ministry, read several verses of scripture.
After the prayer service, participants wrote words of support and their names on a blanket that will be hand delivered to Virginia Tech by Josh Mason of Wirtz, Va., a Campbellsville University student, who is from that area. The blanket is a symbol of comfort, said Andrew Ward, director of student activities and intramurals.
So many students, faculty and staff wanted to write encouraging and supportive messages that a second blanket will be sent to Virginia.
Campbellsville University, now celebrating her Centennial year, 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 2,310 students who represent 100 Kentucky counties, 32 states and 28 foreign nations. Listed in U.S. News & World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges” 14 consecutive years as one of the leading Southern master’s colleges and universities, Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his eighth year as president.