Ceremony Marks Opening of New Building
Applause drowned out the soft snick of purple-handled scissors as the Andrew S. Miller Center for Communication Arts at Asbury University was officially opened for business Friday morning.
A crowd of alumni, students, faculty, staff and community members stood shoulder-to-shoulder to celebrate the new facility with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Though students were able to begin classes in the building in January, this week’s dedication marked the completion of a dream long anticipated.
“To many of us, this building really does seem like a miracle,” Provost John Kulaga said. “This facility is a game-changer for the institution. The Miller Center is positioned to serve as a center for new collaborations to take place across disciplines.”
The vision for a place in which to train Communication Arts students in journalism, film and other media disciplines has been nurtured for long years by Dr. Jim Owens, dean of the School of Communication Arts. “We’re excited for all the potential this building has for our students,” he said. “As faculty, I’m ecstatic to be in here. Our goal was to immerse our students in creativity, and they’ve spent hours just walking through the building, reading and learning.”
In remarks following the ribbon-cutting, President Dr. Sandra Gray reflected on the symbolism of the building. Circular windows symbolize the unending love of Christ, while other windows contain crosses, she said, and even the pillars at the entrance of the building stand for pillars of faith: holiness, evangelism, love, peace, hope, joy, worship and prayer. As students move through the building, they can exit through a back lot set of “Main Street” store fronts in much the same way they will one day leave the university setting for the wider world.
“You students are a reason for hope,” Gray said. “You have great confidence and enthusiasm, and you are ready.”
Several leaders of the Salvation Army were on hand to help celebrate the opening of a building, as well. Commissioner Andrew S. Miller served on Asbury’s Board of Trustees from 1967 to 1997 and was, in the words of Dr. Paul Rader, former General of the Salvation Army and past president of Asbury University, “a consummate communicator.”
“We’re thrilled for the realization of a dream and the great future for Asbury and the cause of Christ in the world," Rader said. "This new building will be a useful platform for equipping students to shape the culture for the Kingdom.”