For immediate release
August 22, 2002
Abilene Christian University will kick off its 97th session Monday at 11 a.m. with its annual Opening Session at Moody Coliseum. The featured speaker will be Prentice Meador, member of ACU's Board of Trustees and preaching minister at Prestoncrest Church of Christ in Dallas.
Meador grew up in Portland, Tenn., and graduated from Lipscomb University in 1960. He received his master's degree in 1961 and his doctorate in 1964 both from the University of Illinois.
Meador was a recipient of the George Washington Medal of Honor awarded by the Freedoms Foundation, was a delegate to the White House Conference on the Family and a member of the Governor's Committee on Youth and Children, and was nominated for the 67th annual Linz Award, which honors the citizens of Dallas for civic or humanitarian efforts benefiting the community. He is also the editor of 21st Century Christian. Meador has served on ACU's Board of Trustees since 1986.
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 chapel service, 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 97th Opening Session.
If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Wendy Kilmer, university news coordinator.