ACU to kick off 96th school year with pomp, pageantry

For immediate release
August 24, 2001

Abilene Christian University will kick off its 96th session Monday at 11 a.m. with its annual Opening Session at Moody Coliseum. Don Crisp, chairman of ACU's Board of Trustees and president of Rosewood Corp., will be the featured speaker.

Crisp graduated from ACU in 1964 with a double major in business administration and accounting. While at ACU, he was treasurer of the Students' Association, member of a men's social club and president of the Business Administration Club. He also received several scholastic honors.

After graduating, Crisp worked for Arthur Andersen and Co. until 1972. For four years, he was senior vice president and treasurer of Dallas Federal Savings and Loan. Since 1977, Crisp has been with Rosewood, and he is currently chairman of Rosewood and trustee of the Caroline Hunt Trust Estate.

Crisp has served as chair of the ACU Board of Trustees since 1992. Previously, he has been chairman of the board of Dallas Christian Schools and Christian Services of the Southwest of Dallas, and he is currently on the board of the Christian Chronicle and the Missions Resource Network.

ACU's Opening Session ceremonies are steeped in tradition. The university begins each academic year with several long-standing traditional activities.

Opening Session, conducted during the regular hour of the university's Daily Assembly, begins with a procession of the administration and faculty. Immediately following the academic procession, the Parade of Flags, with students carrying the flags of every U.S. state and nation represented in the student body, creates a spectacular array of color and pageantry.

The flags were originally furnished to ACU through the generosity of the O.P. Leonard family of Fort Worth and are maintained by the family of James and Jane (Leonard) Anthony of Fort Worth.

Acknowledging the omnipotence of God and the lordship of Jesus Christ, the university conducts a daily devotion for all members of the ACU family. The devotional of the Opening Session is patterned after the first devotionals of every school year since the university was founded in 1906.

The stirring hymn "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name" has been the first song of every school year, and the apostle Paul's familiar "Sermon on Mars Hill," recorded in Acts 17, is read by a member of the Bible faculty.

After introductions of educational, civic and government leaders, the combined ACU Big Purple Band and Grand Chorus perform the stirring "Battle Hymn of the Republic." A guest speaker addresses the assembly and the Opening Session concludes with the moving "Ceremony of Allegiance" and the presentation of the American flag, also a gift to the university from the Leonard family.

All people are welcome to attend ACU's 96th Opening Session.


Archived News Releases - Current ACU News and Events

If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Wendy Kilmer, university news coordinator, at or call 915-674-2692.
Last update: Aug. 24, 2001

This page is maintained by Wendy Kilmer,