|Joe Foster, center, received an award for 30 years of service to Campbellsville University from Dr. Frank Cheatham, senior vice president for academic affairs, and Dr. Michael V. Carter, president. Foster, also, was named the Distinguished Professor by the Advancement Board at Honors and Awards Day. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joan C. McKinney)|
By Drew Tucker, communications assistant
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – The staff and faculty of Campbellsville University celebrated their years of service at the 31st Annual Recognition Service recently.
“It’s hard to believe this has been happening now for 31 years, and there are a few of us here that have been to all of them,” Dr. Frank Cheatham, senior vice president for academic affairs, said.
“Thank you for your time and service at Campbellsville University,” he said.
|Dr. Dwayne Howell was the guest speaker at the
recognition service. (Campbellsville University Photo
by Joan C. McKinney)
Dr. Dwayne Howell, professor of Old Testament and Hebrew and celebrating 15 years at CU, said he has been connected to CU for much longer.
“Forty years has been my connection to Campbellsville University. I came here as a youth on one of the weekend visitations. My brother came here as a music major – one of the first people I remember actually meeting was Peggy Hardy [wife of Al Hardy, former dean of academic support and 43-year employee].”
In 1978 he arrived at CU and because of his brother, everyone thought he was the music major, even though he was a Christian studies history major.
“When revival teams came along they always wanted me to lead the music,” he said, “and I actually led a few of them.”
He said he met his wife in his sophomore year, and they have been together ever since. His wife is Dr. Susan Howell, professor of psychology at CU. They celebrated their 32nd anniversary May 1.
Howell said there are 10 professors and staff members who are still at CU from the time he was a student. He mentioned Dr. Gilbert Treadway and Bobby Himes, history professors, and Dr. H.E. Coker, Dr. Jerry Kibbons and Dr. Robert Street, who were all theology professors, as his mentors. Some have died, but they’d never be forgotten, he said. Street is still employed at CU as professor of computer information systems.
“Jerry taught me the love of the small church. For years I would go into small churches and people would ask ‘How’s Jerry doing?” – That’s the influence he had in all the counties around here. I think that’s one of the reasons why I love the small church and still pastor the small rural church.
“Bob Street is the reason why I have a Ph.D. in Old Testament. He built in me a love of the Old Testament, and I went on to pursue it at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.”
He said the names he mentioned were not only professors but became his mentors in ministry and friends over time.
“They have stood by me. In difficult times in my life they stood by me. One of the reasons I believe I’m a professor here at CU is because Bobby Himes and H.E. Coker constantly met with Dr. Kenneth Winters, former president, telling him ‘you need to get this person on your staff’.”
Celebrating his 15 years at CU, he offered those attending a life lesson.
“Not all of your students will remember you, but there’s going to be specific ones that your lives are going to touch. Specific ones you’re going to be given an opportunity to; not only as their professor, but also their mentor and friend. Appreciate that, because as I’ve experienced, it is something that will truly stay with you all your life.”
Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of CU, gave an update on the life of the university since the beginning of the academic year. He spoke of Paul Dameron, director of institutional research, and Teresa Pruitt, accounts payable manager, who were CU employees who died on July 24, 2013 and Aug. 24, 2013, respectively.
“We began the year with this news of the loss of these two very dear individuals who really loved our university and worked extremely hard for CU. We started off on a sad note,” he said.
“I tell you every time I turn off of 55/68 at the junction of 210 and head under the underpass I always think about Paul Dameron. And I always think about the sweet smile of Teresa Pruitt and the gracious manner she treated our students in a way that most of you didn’t get to see. Those of us who worked in the Administration building got to see her grace and dignity.”
He said he had lost his bedrock with the death of Dameron, who would track numbers, helped make predictions for the school year and knew where CU would be financially.
“We were scrambling when it came to numbers,” he said. “We have an incredible team but Paul added a dimension and knowledge of who we were. They continue to be on my mind.”
Carter talked about the “incredible flood” that hit the university back in fall 2013. Buildings that had never been flooded were flooded. He said through great effort they made repairs and improved the campus for future events.
He said CU had a record on-campus enrollment, and had a record number of mission trips over the Christmas and spring breaks.
“We have moved this year with a great spirit. We’re more diverse now in every aspect of our operation than at any time in our 108-year history, in the full spectrum. We’re approaching 90 different options of study. It’s pretty incredible that we have that kind of range and impact. We’ve landed on our feet and have moved forward.”
His talked moved on to Mid-Continent University, a liberal arts Christian institution located near Mayfield, Ky. which has announced that it will close its doors in June.
“We’re very saddened by news of Mid-Continent University — in many ways a sister institution. Over 2,000 students are working on degrees and now they don’t have a school. Can you imagine being 15 hours away from graduating and your school goes bankrupt? We’re doing our very best to reach out. We’re really trying to be a friend to them.”
He said he is reminded of 1 Peter 3:15 whenever he thinks about the stories he hears from visitors of campus. “’Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence,’” he read.
“That’s Campbellsville University,” he said. “That’s what I hear on a daily basis. CU is where you’re met with a smile; where you’re welcomed; where hospitality is genuine; where there is a sense of hope and helpfulness. That deep sense of hope comes from Christ Jesus and so it’s in our remembrance of him and his impact on our lives that make a difference here. We’re not perfect. We’re surviving. We’re strong. It wouldn’t be happening if it wasn’t for you and for the sweet spirit that is here on this campus.”
“Thank you for the sweet spirit in the room this morning and what you do day in and day out in the life of our university – the way you conduct yourselves; the passion you give students to help find their calling – I can’t tell you how much I appreciate each of you and the great spirit you bring to work.”
The following faculty and staff were recognized at the service: Thirty years – Joe Foster, assistant professor of business and economics; twenty-five years – Dr. Damon Eubank, chair of the Division of Social Science and professor of history;
Twenty years – Dottie Davis, assistant professor of education; Dr. Darlene Eastridge, dean of the Carver School of Social Work and professor of social work; the Rev. Ed Pavy Sr., director of campus ministries; Jill C. Roberts, assistant professor of accounting; and Dr. Ted G. Taylor, director of the Big Maroon Club;
Sheila Douglas, secretary to the vice president for church and external relations; Marion T. Hall, director of special projects; Dr. J. Dwayne Howell, professor of Old Testament and Hebrew; Benji Kelly, vice president of development; Christy Spurling, student loan coordinator;Fifteen years –Jack A. Beard, groundskeeper; Debra W. Carter, Carter School of Social Work director of recruitment and community relations and assistant professor of social work; Dr. Michael V. Carter, president
Ten years — Lori England, custodian; Karen G. Fawcett, secretary for athletics/aquatics center coordinator; Rollin L. Gentry, serviceman; Anne C. Gibbs, secretary for the School of Music; Dr. Donna R. Hedgepath, dean of the School of Education and assistant professor of education;
Alvin W. Humphress, serviceman team leader; Franky L. James, head men’s wrestling coach; Dr. Richie Kessler, associate professor of biology/environmental studies program coordinator;
Kenny Lawson, coordinator of transfer recruiting; Scott Necessary, director of dual credit/assistant to the vice president of admissions, James Nichols, assistant athletic trainer; Brenda Porter, custodian; Dr. Billy Stout, professor of special education; and Dr. Scott Wiggington, professor of pastoral ministries and counseling;
Five years – Elvin “Elby” Alfaro, landscape crew leader; Dr. Russell B. Barclay, visiting professor in public relations; Natalie R. Burdette, director of annual giving; Katie H. Carpenter, admissions counselor; William E. “Bill” Cassell, assistant professor of criminal justice;
Meagan L. Davidson, director of learning commons; Christopher W. “Chris” Davis, serviceman; Dr. Joseph E. Early Jr., assistant professor of theology; Andrew N. Franklin, director of residence life; Dale M. Furkin, instructor in English;
W. Todd Gupton, groundskeeper/caretaker for Clay Hill Memorial Forest, Joan White Howell Environmental Education Center and The Hoffman House/property; Venita J. Hooper, secretary for the Office of Academic Affairs;
Dr. Thomas R. Jeffrey, instructional technologist and assistant professor; Ashlee L. Matney, instructor in mathematics; J. Chris Megginson, director of sports information; Dr. C. Ann Moore, associate professor of business; Dr. Matthew E. “Matt” Oliver, assistant professor of English;
Davie M. Reneau, associate professor of art; Fred D. Smith, groundskeeper/landscaper; Dr. H. Keith Spears, vice president for graduate and professional studies; Michael Ryan Stotler, post office clerk/afternoon supervisor; Dr. Glen E. Taul, archivist;
Terry W. VanMeter, director of personnel services; Dr. Robert J. “Bob” Wade, dean of the School of Nursing and assistant professor of nursing; and Amy M. Zink, head volleyball coach.
Terry VanMeter, director of personnel services, said the invocation, and Dr. Darlene Eastridge, dean of the Carver School of Social Work and Counseling, said the closing prayer.Members of the committee include: Terry VanMeter, director of personnel services, chair; Janet Coffey, personnel assistant; Dale Furkin, instructor in English; Venita Hooper, secretary for the Office of Academic Affairs; Joan McKinney, news and publications coordinator; Kellie Vaughn, secretary to the president; and Connie Wilson, academics coordinator.
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 campbellsville.edu.