Alyssa (Gonzalez '10) Beaird | Communication
from Abilene, Texas
Going to ACU was not in Alyssa Beaird's plans.
The Abilene native had every intention of bolting town upon graduation from high school, but God had a different idea, and it took a trip to Nicaragua for her to realize it.
"Just being over there and seeing that I wanted to do what God wanted me to do," Alyssa said of the reasons behind her decision to stay in Abilene. "ACU was that, but I had blinders on for a while."
But the blinders came off, and Alyssa enrolled at ACU, where she found herself surprised by the university she’d heard about her entire life.
"It was a completely different experience in a good way," she said. "Experience is different from hearing about it."
Alyssa hopes to use her communication degree to enter the ministry, either overseas or by working for a nonprofit organization.
Academic quality and focus on faith
Alyssa received more than an education at ACU. She experienced encouragement and fellowship from her fellow students, as well as the love and support of ACU's caring faculty, which changed her life.
"The faculty has really shown Christ's love, no matter what they do," she said. "It's not just a job, or something they have to do. They want to get on a personal level with you. You're not just spending your money for books - you're building great relationships and becoming a better person."
The difference, she said, is ACU's unique dual commitments - academic quality with a focus on the truths of God's Word. That has led to an on-campus diversity Alyssa said she did not expect, as well as a deeper understanding of what it means to be part of the body of Christ.
"Education by itself, and spirituality by itself, is wonderful, but when you put them together, you learn more about yourself and community and what it is to be the body of Christ - one and not separate," she said. "It has encouraged me to grow and challenge myself, and to challenge others to be who God has called us to be."
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