School Year to be Marked by Commitment to Excellence

WILMORE, Ky. — Asbury University began the new academic year on Monday with a Chapel service that both established spiritual guidelines for the pursuit of knowledge and celebrated the solid teaching which that pursuit requires.

Dr. Sandra Gray, president of the University, spoke at an academic convocation in historic Hughes Auditorium to the first gathering of students, staff and faculty of the Fall semester. In her remarks, based on the book of Ezekiel, she encouraged the gathered group to make a commitment to excellence through the empowerment of God and transformation by the Holy Spirit.

“The heart of God is searching for those who will say ‘yes’ to the call to stand in the gap,” she said. “We’re called to a commitment of excellence, which is not so much an act as it is a habit; it’s about becoming more than being.”

From left: President Sandra Gray, Dr. Burnam Reynolds and Provost Jon Kulaga. Dr. Reynolds was awarded the Frances White Ewbank Excellence in Teaching Award.
From left: President Sandra Gray, Dr. Burnam Reynolds and Provost Jon Kulaga. Dr. Reynolds was awarded the Frances White Ewbank Excellence in Teaching Award.

Asbury also awarded the Frances White Ewbank Excellence in Teaching Award, an annual recognition bestowed by the faculty and graduating seniors, to History Professor Dr. Burnam Reynolds. Reynolds’ tenure at Asbury spans 40 years, and according to comments from those who nominated him, his knowledge of his subject matter is surpassed only by his willingness to invest in the lives of his students.

“History is not dead and buried — it’s unfolding every day,” Reynolds said. “Connecting history to today’s students remains exciting after 40 years.”

The Frances White Ewbank Excellence in Teaching Award is given in honor of Dr. Frances White Ewbank, an English literature professor at Asbury University in the 1950s. Ewbank’s legacy of inspiring students to engage the world with both heart and mind is recognized through the annual recognition of a current professor’s outstanding contribution to the liberal arts. The award includes a cash prize and is supported by alumni donations.

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