Tiger Take-Off




Over $200,000 has been raised at Campbellsville University’s Derby Rose Gala


April 30, 2015
For Immediate Release

Students were a big part of the Derby Rose Gala. From shooting photography and video to interviewing guests. Interviewing Sara Curry, right, chair of the Advancement Board, is Shelby Knuckles, left, and Meg Brown. (Campbellsville University Photo by Drew Tucker)
Students were a big part of the Derby Rose Gala. From shooting photography and video to interviewing guests. Interviewing Sara Curry, right, chair of the Advancement Board, is Shelby Knuckles, left, and Meg Brown. (Campbellsville University Photo by Drew Tucker)


By Drew Tucker, communications assistant

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – “Tonight is all about the students,” Benji Kelly, vice president for development, said at Campbellsville University’s Derby Rose Gala on April 17 on campus. “Tonight puts us over the $200,000 threshold with this event.”

CU’s Advancement Board created the Derby Rose Gala seven years ago as a way to generate funds toward CU’s Student Scholarship Fund. Steve Horner, a member of the Advancement Board, said the fund did not exist prior to the first gala.

Horner said seven years ago, a student who could not pay the admission financial package would not have been able to attend CU.

“Today, that’s all changed because you’re here, and now there are dozens of students who have gotten their start,” he said.

Meg Brown, a junior from Russellville, Ky. majoring in educational ministries and public relations, said she was thankful to her CU family.

“I’ve been privileged to serve in many regards while studying at CU,” she said.

She said she’s a student-mentor in CU’s FIRST CLASS program, promoting servant leadership through projects and ministries carried out by freshman students, a member of CU athletics, competing for Christ with the core values of a Champion of Character, and with Baptist Campus Ministry, has had the opportunity to live out CU’s love of evangelism and discipleship through mission trips.

“Campbellsville has equipped me and pushed me in ministry,” she said. “I’ve come to love the church like never before.”

She said her path to CU was not direct, aiming to go to a different university after high school, but “the Lord drastically changed my plans, and I am so thankful He did.”

“By whatever ways we are brought here,” she said, “we are found here and we belong here. We believe in here: Campbellsville University.”

Leighton Lavey, a sophomore from Mayfield, Ky. majoring in pastoral ministries, said growing up he never wanted to become a pastor.

Lavey was eventually called to be in ministry, and he wanted to find a university that supported his calling spiritually and academically.

“I wanted to find a university that knew my face and my heart and knew my passions,” he said. “I couldn’t ask for a better university.”

He said he finds professors reaching out to students such as CU President Michael V. Carter inviting students into his home to eat dinner; professors investing in students spiritually; and “a university that gives me the opportunities to serve in leadership capacities and allows me to go to churches and preach to further my calling with Church Outreach.”

“That ministry allows me to speak with the voice that God has given me and to use the abilities that God has given me to glorify and advance His kingdom,” he said, giving thanks for giving students the opportunity for academic success and spiritual growth.

Carter said he remembered the first conversion he and the Advancement Board members had regarding how much they thought they could raise. “It wasn’t anywhere close to $200,000,” he said.

Carter said he spoke to an individual who said the ministry at CU doesn’t take place one or two days a week – it’s 24/7. He said CU has students from 44 different countries, 33 other states, and almost every county in Kentucky. CU is also rated the fourth most affordable Christian college in America and graduates graduate with less debt than any other school in Kentucky. How does that happen?, he asked.

“It’s because of the spirit that Meg spoke about; the spirit that doesn’t just educate the mind, but teaches the heart. You’re connecting to a purpose that goes beyond any one of us,” he said.

Carter quoted Matthew 6:33, speaking the truth of it, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”

He said there has to be an air of freedom at a university where a person can grow as an individual with Jesus Christ, with an atmosphere to care and share and ask the tough questions that people are afraid to ask.

“The Derby Rose Gala is about keeping the mission of higher education alive,” he said, “and Campbellsville University is moving forward.”

Campbellsville University students played a big part in the Derby Rose Gala atmosphere. Students operated video cameras, conducted interviews with guests and photographed the black tie event. It was also broadcasted live on television and radio, as well as streamed live online.

Photos from the event can be found on CU’s Flickr page.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 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.