Crisp challenges ACU to live up to middle name


For immediate release
August 29, 2001

Abilene Christian University opened 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 Corporation in Dallas, issued the opening address, challenging ACU to be a University that lives up to the "Christian" in its name.

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

The devotional of the Opening Session was patterned after the first devotionals of every school year since the university was founded in 1906, including the stirring hymn "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name" and the apostle Paul's familiar "Sermon on Mars Hill," recorded in Acts 17.

After introductions of educational, civic and government leaders, Crisp addressed the assembly, urging ACU students, faculty and staff to remember the Christian part of Abilene Christian University.

"The name Christian is not a badge of superiority to be worn with pride in personal achievement," Crisp said. "It is a gift that signifies the grace of a loving father and a relationship with his son. With it comes responsibility; persons using the name are expected to allow the leading of the Holy Spirit to transform their lives in the image of Christ."

Crisp also spoke of ACU's commitment to spiritual growth.

"Every year, the Board of Trustees is asked to rank order a list of issues facing this University. I am pleased to say that in every survey, the issue ranked number one is maintaining our spiritual emphasis," Crisp said. "We are well aware of the scores of universities across the nation that have abandoned their Christian roots. This University was founded to provide a spiritual environment for learning and we are determined to remain true to the original purpose.

"We are very good at what we do but, of course, we are not perfect. The employees, faculty and students who are here every day know our strengths and weaknesses. Fortunately, God does not expect perfection, but he seeks hearts that are dedicated to Him and willing to follow the leading of his spirit to consistent transformation."

Following Crisp's address, the Opening Session concluded with the moving "Ceremony of Allegiance" and the presentation of the American flag.

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Last update: Aug. 29, 2001

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