CU President Emeritus Davenport Discusses where CU has been and where she is Going

CU President Emeritus Davenport Discusses where CU has been and where she is Going
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Dr. W.R. Davenport, right, president emeritus of Campbellsville University, left, shook hands with Al Hardy, dean of academic support who worked with Davenport when he was president of the institution, after Davenport spoke at chapel Sept. 24. (Campbellsville University Photo by Memo Quintana)

By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Dr. W.R. “Randy” Davenport, president of Campbellsville College from 1969 to his retirement in 1992, discussed where Campbellsville University has been and where she is going at the institution’s annual Heritage Day Sept. 24 in Ransdell Chapel.

His address was titled “Hitherto” which he cited when Samuel set up a stone as a memorial spot to God and named it Ebenezer, which meant up to now.

“Up to now, God has helped us,” Davenport said.

As we look to the second century of Campbellsville University, he said his other motto is “quo vadis” which means whither as Peter used the words in speaking to Jesus as he bore the cross to Calvary. It meant, “Lord, where are you going?” he said.

“These two mottos mean why we have Heritage Day – to note where we’ve been and where we may be going,” Davenport said.

Davenport expressed his appreciation to the presidents who came before and after him, including current president Dr. Michael V. Carter, president Dr. Kenneth W. Winters, who succeeded him, and Dr. John Mark Carter, who was president before Davenport.

“Sixty percent of the life of this institution is in the years of these four presidents,” he said.

He stressed the importance of the length of service of the leaders of the institution as well as faculty and staff.

“The pressures of serving as president are significant,” he said. He expressed gratitude for Dr. John Mark Carter who “almost single handedly” led the college from a two-year to four-year college. “We owe a great debt of gratitude to that man who literally sacrificed his health in the job. We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us,” he said.

Davenport said students need to develop their “world view,” when they develop an understanding of what they do in life and how to do it.

“Look carefully at various points of view and come on the side of God who created this place,” he advised the students.

“Things are a mess in a lot of places in the world,” he said. “Sin entered the world, and everybody is working to fix the world, but what is wrong is that we sinned against God,” he said.

He complimented the university on the large number of Christian commitments that were recently on campus as part of the GO TELL Crusade. “God bless you and keep on,” he said.

Davenport said the Lord has been evident in the place of Campbellsville University or “we could not have survived.”

He said many schools closed at the time he was president, and he complimented Al Hardy, dean of academic support, who has served CU since 1968 and who worked in various positions with Davenport. “Al was a tower of strength to me in those years,” he said. “Without him, I could not have existed.” He also said David Pierce, director of physical plant, was his first hire.

He mentioned the names of people who are on several buildings on campus such as Edwin and Ovaleta Montgomery, O.D. and Bessie Hawkins, Lawrence and Sharon Hall, Donnie and Anna Gosser and George and Marie Ransdell. “God raised up these people to help Campbellsville,” he said.

He said Ransdell Surgical helped support CU when he was president by sending checks each month to help with the bills. “You have no clue as to what that name (Ransdell) means to me,” he said.

“God used these people to keep the place solvent,” he said.

He said Campbellsville College needed a lot of things when he became president, and that CU still requires sacrificial giving by donors. “We have still not arrived,” he said, “We are a work in progress.”

He said he was pleased that the core values and mission of CU remains Christ-centered and church-related. He urged everyone to do outreach to raise funds and friends for Campbellsville University.

“Yesterday’s gone forever and tomorrow’s not come,” he said. “We have a great heritage, but the past is only a prologue to what lies ahead,” Davenport said.

President Dr. Michael V. Carter said Campbellsville University is in her 102st year, and “As you are dealing with issues in your own lives, individuals over the course of history went through struggles.

“There have been about 10,000 alumni of CU who have come before you to this place.”

He introduced Davenport who he said “distinguished himself as a strong leader who overcame much” during his years as CU president culminating with 40 years as a “distinguished, fine Christian educator.”

“We love you and appreciate your 19 years of strong leadership,” he said.

Dr. Tony Cunha, assistant professor of music, led the University Chorale in songs, with Dr. Frieda Gebert, associate professor of music (vocal and choral), leading the congregation in singing.

Fred Miller, assistant director of student records, gave the benediction. Al Hardy, dean of academic support, led the invocation, and Dr. Wesley Roberts, professor of music, played organ.

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 2009 “America’s Best Colleges,” CU is ranked 22nd in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” in the South for the second consecutive year. CU has been ranked 16 consecutive years with U.S.News & World Report. The university has also been named to America’s Best Christian Colleges®. Campbellsville University is located 82 miles southwest of Lexington, Ky., and 80 miles southeast of Louisville, Ky. Dr. Michael V. Carter is in his tenth year as president.

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