Mr. David Baillie became Athletic Director.
In February, David Gyertson resigned as president, to accept the presidency of Taylor University. In two conference calls, the executive committee of the Board turned at once to another trustee, Paul Rader, who had just retired as General (international leader) of the Salvation Army. Rader was named interim president. This was confirmed by the full Board in March. A broadly representative national search process for a permanent replacement began at once.
Postgraduate education resumed at Asbury after sixty-five years. In May the Education Department in cooperation with the Communications Department offered M.A. degrees in two majors—Special Education (Mild Disabilities) and Instructional Media.
Glenn Hamilton, director of personnel, announced a new “Personal Appearance Policy” for all employed staff. The concept of “business casual” was introduced for faculty and staff during holiday periods and summer.
Financial support for the College reached a record level. The total gift income during fiscal year 1999-2000 was the highest in the history of the school and the first to exceed $5 million in a single year.
During the summer an expanded Asbury Broadcast Communications team provided logistic and technical support for the Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.
In August, Mrs. Deborah L. Vetter replaced Mrs. Debra Hazard, as Associate Dean for Retention and Multicultural Programs.
In September. US News & World Report named Asbury as one of the ten best regional liberal arts college’s in the South for the coming year 2000-2001.
In November George W. Bush, Jr., Republican, was elected President.
In February, after a lengthy process Asbury gained “candidate” status for its social work program from the Council of Social Work Education in March. This meant that graduates in 2001 and following would be “grandfathered” in a status that was the same as that enjoyed by graduates from fully accredited schools.
The national presidential search revealed, as many had predicted, that Paul Rader was the best candidate. He won the unanimous support of the faculty during his period as interim president. Rader was a loyal graduate of the College, fully as erudite as any of his predecessors and an accomplished speaker with administrative experience on an international scale.
Alan Moulton was elected third vice-chair of the faculty.
The graduating class of ’01 was the largest in the College’s history.
In May the Dennis F. and Elsie B. Kinlaw Library was opened. On June 22 the building was formally dedicated. The Kinlaws and Kirklands were present and honored. The ceremony was the highlight of the annual Alumni Reunion Weekend.
Also on June 22 the executive committee of the board approved the appointment of Mr. Robert T. Bridges, a 1969 graduate of the College, as vice president for institutional advancement, effective Aug. 15.
The Salvation Army alumni held their first official reunion on campus.
Also in June Asbury College was named a national winner of the Circle of Excellence in Educational Fund Raising Award by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). This was the most prestigious national award in the development profession in higher education.
In the same month, the Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education gave its first Model of Excellence Award to Asbury’s Education Department, praising the College’s program for “reflecting the moral [and] ethical dimensions of teaching.”
On July 23 the office of personnel and risk management was renamed the office of human resources and risk management.
On Aug. 20 Yvonne Moulton was placed in charge of a program to mentor new faculty.
In September U.S. News & World Report listed Asbury as “second among the best comprehensive colleges in the South” in the 2002 edition of the magazine’s annual review of America’s Best Colleges.
On Sept. 11 two terrorist attacks destroyed the World Trade Center towers in New York City. A third attack badly damaged the Pentagon building in Washington D.C. Terrorists used hijacked commercial airliners. Control of a fourth plane was partly regained by passengers. It crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, away from a major target. All on board were killed.
Paul A. Rader was inaugurated as the 15th President of Asbury College on Oct. 4 in a formal ceremony in Hughes Auditorium.
Also in October the Board of Trustees approved the creation of the first Emeritus Professors at Asbury: Don Donaldson, Ron Kotesky, Robert R. Moore and Ron Welling.
In November, on its tenth anniversary, the Asbury College Leadership Development program was placed in the Top 13 programs nationwide by the Character Clearinghouse, funded by the Templeton Foundation.
In January the College celebrated Martin Luther King Day for the first time with a full campus holiday, in which a number of students joined in “a day of community service and multicultural celebration.”
In February 60 students, staff and faculty traveled to Salt Lake City to assist in broadcasting the Winter Olympic Games.
In March the Lilly Endowment gave the College a grant of $50,000 with which to complete the preparation of a major grant proposal for new programs at Asbury aimed at “nurturing a new generation of religiously committed leaders.”
On May 12 the largest class in Asbury College history graduated, numbering 313 walking graduates. The Commencement speaker was Dean Jones, a motion picture actor who attended the College himself. During the annual Alumni Reunion Weekend held in June, Mr. Roger Blodgett, class of 1927, returned to campus for his 75th Class Reunion, the last living member of his graduating class.
In July Randy Richardson returned as Director of the Physical Plant.
In September, US News and World Report named Asbury the third best comprehensive college in the South in the 2003 edition of America’s Best Colleges.
In November the teacher education program was granted national accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.
On Nov. 27 the Lilly Endowment gave Asbury a two million dollar grant to fund a “comprehensive program” to prepare a new generation of leaders for church and society. This was the largest grant from a private foundation in the College’s history. The program, called the Transformations Project, was under the direction of Michael Peterson of the philosophy department. The program was designed to help students consider more carefully the relationship between their Christian faith and their vocational choices. Components of the program centered on faculty and professional staff, curriculum, students and the institution itself. Asbury was one of 39 institutions, and the only one in Kentucky, to receive a Lilly grant this year.
In January the Asbury College Connection program was initiated. Coordinated by Roy Lauter, the Connection provided a college-life experience for young people who had completed special education programs in Jessamine County schools.
In March a U.S.-led coalition invaded Iraq to force compliance with United Nations resolutions calling for an end to that country’s program of weapons of mass destruction and to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein, the ruler.
On April 8, Jim Owens, professor of media communication, received the Sports TV All-Star Award at the annual National Association of Broadcasters Convention in Las Vegas. In part this was in recognition of Owens’ success in training and placing collegiate media communication interns, including those from Asbury, during the Winter Olympics.
On May 1 President George Bush declared that the war in Iraq had come to a successful conclusion and that major combat had ceased.
Three historic Asbury College buildings were officially listed with the Survey of Historic Architecture and Design of the Council of Independent Colleges. These were the original Asbury College building (built in 1890), Hager Administration Building (built 1909-1910, renamed for Dr. and Mrs. C.R. Hager in 1993) and Hughes Auditorium (built 1928-1930).
Sandra Gray was elected as the fourth Faculty Vice Chair.
At the end of the spring term, a declining national economy and lingering fears about travel over great distances caused fears that the college’s enrollment would drop in the fall by as many as 110. Anticipating this, Dr. Rader addressed employees on May 20, pledging to “act in a provident and responsible manner in the financial realities now facing us.” Budget cuts and a freeze on both salaries and new hiring were announced. This would be the first sharp decline in enrollment after a decade of steady growth in the student body.
During the summer, the steps of Hughes Auditorium were reconstructed with funds provided by alumni.
Elsie Kinlaw, the wife of former President Dennis Kinlaw, died on July 10. Her funeral was held in Hughes Auditorium on July 14.
In August, Stephen and Phyllis McRoberts West donated $1,000,000 to establish the Asbury College Initiative for Service Leadership Internships for International Development. The gift was in honor of the life and work of Dr. Ernest M. and Mrs. Jennie Sue Steury, lifelong missionaries to Kenya. College leaders noted that the new initiative was “wholly consonant with the objectives of the Lilly Transformations program” to explore vocation.
In the 2004 edition of America’s Best Colleges, U.S. News and World Report named Asbury the fourth best comprehensive college in the South out of 104 such institutions. This was the fourth year in a row the College was named by the magazine among the top ten colleges in the South.
Fall enrollment did not decline as much as expected so that further budget restrictions were postponed.
Rev. Stuart Smith, Associate of Campus Ministries was given the additional title of Campus Chaplain.
Mr. Jim Aller became Athletic Director.
In May Dr. Jack P. Powell was named to the new position of Vice President for Enrollment Management, effective June 14.
In June Dr. Rader announced “New Directions in Chapel Programming.” He stated that discussions on worship style in chapel, which had continued through the preceding year, had reached an “impasse,” so that he would make changes on his own authority. These included naming Stuart Smith as Campus Chaplain with full responsibility for planning Chapel services. Smith would be assisted by Dr. Jon Roller. An adjunct faculty member in music, Roller would be the new Chapel Music Coordinator and leader of the new “Creative Worship Arts Team.” Two-thirds of chapel services would be “contemporary in style,” with wider use of “contemporary music, visual components, drama and, where appropriate, dance.”
In August Asbury College was listed as third among comprehensive colleges in the South, in U.S. News and World Report’s 2005 Edition of America’s Best Colleges.
At the Fall Faculty Retreat, Dr. Rader delivered a message on “Heritage, Horizons and the Here and Now: Opening to Asbury’s Future.” Declaring the College was at a “hinge point” in its history, he announced major new programs designed to make the College more viable in a contemporary market. These included a graduate degree program in education; the “Asbury Academy,” in which local high school students could attend classes for credit; a degree completion program and a major commitment to “learning technologies,” which called for “interactive, collaborative and nonlinear learning experiences.” The College “Mission Statement” and “Statement of Purpose” would be revised to clarify the College’s commitment to preparing students to “engage the culture and change the world.” Expressing “boundless confidence” in the “Asbury that can be,” Rader was much less hopeful about “Asbury as we have known it.”
In November, George W. Bush, Republican, was re-elected President of the United States.
In the spring, the Department of Social Work and Sociology was fully accredited by the Council of Social Work Education.
Dr. Bonnie Banker was elected fifth Faculty Vice-Chair (she had served in the position before, but during the year in which the Vice Chair did not represent the faculty on the Board of Trustees).
The first Highbridge Film Festival was held in Hughes Auditorium.
In May an untitled summary of the concerns of a “group of student leaders,” including the current and newly-elected Student Body Presidents was prepared and circulated. Dated May 9 and known as the “Red Book” because of the color of the cover, the document listed problems which these student leaders believed threatened the College’s historic integrity. These included failure to maintain social standards, decline in the value of the chapel experience, problems with the “top-down” style of the college administration and low faculty and student morale. On May 17, the President issued a statement that the matters addressed in the “Red Book” were not new, but would be addressed by the administration.
In July, Gary Kempf, formerly on the athletic director’s staff at the University of Kansas, was named Athletic Director and (July 7) Dr. Jack Powell resigned as Vice President for Enrollment Management. Mr. Ron Anderson, director of financial aid, was named as interim director for the enrollment management program.
Also in July, the Board of Trustees issued an official response to the “Red Book.” Speaking for the Board, Chairman C.E. Crouse condemned the way in which the students had raised issues, but announced that an official task force would be appointed to “review the areas of concern that have been raised.” (This Task Force reported to the Board at the fall meeting. The full report of the Task Force was not made public.)
In August, Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans and large portions of the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coast.
In the same month, Asbury was ranked fourth among comprehensive colleges in the South in the 2006 Edition of America’s Best Colleges published annually by U.S. News and World Report. This was the 13th year in a row in which Asbury College had been named among the top regional colleges. The official College news release noted, “Whoever said 13 wasn’t a good number doesn’t know Asbury College.”
In October, the Board of Trustees approved the decision by the administration to end post-retirement medical insurance benefits for anyone who retired after June 30, 2008. Major renovations for the Johnson Cafeteria were approved as well.
In the Fall Dr. Marek Oziewicz of the University of Wroclaw, Poland, became the first Fulbright Scholar in residence at Asbury College. Oziewicz’ residence, to study mythological and fantasy literature, was arranged by Dr. Devin Brown of the English Department.
The ACHIEVE program, for adult degree completion, began operation in the late fall. The program was intended for persons 25 years or older who had earned at least 50 credit hours of post-graduate education.
Over Christmas vacation a number of Asbury College students volunteered to travel to the Gulf Coast areas devastated by Katrina to assist in clean-up and reconstruction.
Noting a slight improvement in the College’s financial condition due to an unexpected reduction in medical expenses for employees, the administration granted a one-time salary bonus of 1.5% to all employees, and a 1% increase in salary starting Jan. 1, 2006.
In January, Dr. Paul Rader announced his resignation as President of Asbury College, effective June 30. Holding a specially called meeting a few days later, the Board of Trustees announced it was beginning a process to recruit a new president to lead the institution “forward in a manner that honors God and embraces the traditions of the past while grasping the tremendous promise of the future.”
In February Lucas Speakman, a double major in computational mathematics and chemistry, was named to the Second Team in USA Today’s All-USA Academic Team. Speakman was the only student named from any Kentucky college or university.
Early in the year, the Chief Financial Officers of the College and Asbury Theological Seminary began to hold regular meetings to discuss matters of common interest, and to prepare for more inclusive meetings of the two administrations on a regular basis.
During spring break Asbury College students returned in larger numbers as volunteers in clean-up and reconstruction in the hurricane disaster areas along the Gulf Coast.
In April the Faculty approved a proposal from an ad-hoc committee to appoint a seven-person Faculty Governance Committee “for the purposes of preparing changes to our faculty governance structure.”
In May, Dr. Joe Brockinton resigned as Vice President of Student Development, and was replaced by Dr. Mark Troyer in that office. Dr. Ray Whiteman resigned as Provost, and was replaced as Interim Provost by Dr. Sandra Gray, chair of the Business Department and former Vice-Chair. These changes were effective July 1. Dr. Robert Bridges resigned, effective August 1, and was replaced by Mr. Greg Swanson, JD. Dr. William C. Crothers was appointed President of Asbury College during the transition, beginning July 1. In making the announcement, Chairman Crouse declared that the Board would continue to “focus on its comprehensive search process in order to have a president in place for the 2007-08 school year.” Dr. Crothers was the former long-time president of Roberts Wesleyan College and Board Treasurer for the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities.
In the same month, Asbury received a $500,000 renewal grant from the Lilly Endowment for the Transformation Project. The funds were intended to provide half the operating costs of the component activities for an additional three years. By the time of the new grant, the Transformations Project included 18 specific programs.
On June 28, a new operational structure for information services staff was announced. Three previously free-standing functions (instructional technology, training, and classroom media services) were combined into a new “Learning Services Manager” position.
In July, the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, a leading conservative think-tank and academic clearing house, named Asbury College one of its “fifty highly recommended schools and programs” in the latest ISI Guide to All-American Colleges: Top Schools for Conservatives, Old-Fashioned Liberals and People of Faith. The top ranked schools included the new Ave Maria University in Florida, Centre College (also in Kentucky), Virginia Military Institute and Yeshiva University.
On July 31 Mr. Eric McMillion, formerly Associate Director of Facilities Operations at Oberlin College, became Director of the Physical Plant.
In August, the Academic Policies and Curriculum Committee began to meet, under the leadership of Dr. Crothers and Provost Gray, to consider a major reform in the general education requirements. This was the first phase of a complete revision of the academic program of the College. A reduction of overly-large academic majors would follow.
At the Fall Faculty Retreat (August 26), the speaker, Mr. Robert A. Sevier, a marketing specialist, explained the necessity of “branding” in the current competitive market for academic services. The key to future success was to emphasis those things Asbury College could do that no other college could do, or do as well. This should become the College’s “brand,”—its “unique selling attribute.”
At meetings on Sept. 12 and 19, the Faculty passed a major reform of the core curriculum–the first substantial change in these requirements in the memory of the most senior faculty members. The number of courses needed to complete the general education requirements was reduced, mainly at the expense of foreign language, English, history and science. In addition, more flexibility in meeting the core requirements was introduced, along with new requirements in leadership training and an overseas multicultural experience.
Sept. 21, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Self Study Steering Committee held its first meeting. The Chairperson was Dr. Verna Lowe.
In October the College announced gifts from local donors sufficient to construct a new free-standing Equine Center to be the centerpiece of the Asbury Management program. The all-weather indoor training, housing and show facility was a substantial enhancement to the equine program. In announcing the gift in chapel on Oct. 11, Dr. Crothers acknowledged that the development of the gift was done by Professor Harold Rainwater, director of the equestrian program and mayor of Wilmore.
At its fall meeting, the College Board of Trustees approved the revised general education core curriculum to be implemented in the fall 2007 term. In addition, a new corporation to be jointly controlled by the College and Asbury Theological Seminary “for the purpose of providing services to both institutions” was established, and a “right-sizing plan was approved to more properly balance the expenditures between personnel and non-personnel costs.” The right-sizing plan required elimination of a number of staff and faculty positions. The plan drew upon retirement and voluntary resignation as far as possible, and the persons affected were given until commencement 2007, to allow them time to obtain positions elsewhere. The Board also approved a more concise and updated statement of the philosophy of student discipline, which guided procedures already in place. The Board also approved a modest increase in benefits to all employees.
In addition, the Board announced that the Presidential search process was still “open to receiving recommendations.”
Communication Arts students once again worked behind the scenes in broadcasting the Winter Olympics, held in Torino Italy—the latest proof of what the Collegian (April 28, 2007) called the Communication Arts Department’s “unique connection” to the Olympics.
On Feb. 13, the faculty approved a substantial change in tenure policy. When approved by the Board at its spring meeting, this change was described by Dr. Crothers as providing for “more meaningful post-tenure review and the recognition of additional flexibility for employment decisions based on program enrollments.”
The College partnered with Bristol Bay Productions, sister company to Walden Media, to produce an educational multimedia experience about abolitionist William Wilberforce. Professors Greg Bandy ’76 and Dr. Devin Brown with students Matt Hogencamp ’07, Josh Taber ’07, James Donaldson ’07, Ben Greenhoe ’08, Scott Rohrer ’09 and Chris Lawson ’07 produced the DVD for “Amazing Grace,” which opened in February.
At the beginning of March, in its spring meeting, the College Board of Trustees elected Dr. Sandra C. Gray, acting Provost, as President of Asbury College, to begin July 1. Dr. Gray was confirmed unanimously by the Board via secret ballot on the first vote. When this decision was announced to the faculty in a special meeting, and to the students in Chapel, the news was greeted by standing ovations.
In addition various changes in Board function were made. These included a new Board Policy Manual, with provisions on membership criteria, conflict of interest policy and the establishment of three-year terms, with a maximum of three terms before “rotating off the Board.”
The Board also created a new Strategic Plan for the College, described by Dr. Crothers as a truly “comprehensive” plan “from philosophy to goals to action plans to assessment.” This plan paralleled the action plan adopted by the Self-Study Steering Committee for its work.
At the same meeting, the Board made funds available to renovate the disused Morrison-Kenyon Library as the Asbury College Student Center. The newly refurbished facility was to be ready for use by the start of the fall 2007 term. Soon after this announcement, campus-wide participation in planning the new center was invited. Work began almost at once, and continued through the summer.
Mrs. Deborah Vetter’s position was renamed Associate Dean for Student Success and Intercultural Programs.
Also in March, the Asbury College Swimming and Diving Team won 20 top-16 places at the NAIA National Championships at San Antonio, Texas. Kerry Hancock (200-meter Butterfly) and Ashley Poore (one-meter diving) were named All-American. Hancock was named Asbury’s first NAIA National Champion as well.
As a result of the Winter Olympics experience, Taylor Vinson, graduating senior in communications, was paired with Olympic commentator Kerry Millikin as play-by-play announcer on NBC Sports.com live pay-per-view Webcast of the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day (Equestrian) during the fourth week of April.
Dr. Dan Strait was elected sixth Faculty Vice-Chair.
During Commencement on May 11, Dr. Crothers was surprised by the confirmation of an honorary Doctorate from Asbury College in recognition of his immense contribution during the transition period that closed with the appointment of Dr. Gray as his successor.
On May 18, Dr. Cornelius R. Hager, three-time President of Asbury College, died, aged 93. His funeral was held the following Wednesday in Hughes Auditorium.
On June 4, Dr. Jon Kulaga was named new Provost of Asbury College. Dr. Kulaga, whose academic training was in organizational management and curriculum development, was Assistant Dean of Adult Studies and Director of the University Honors Program at Spring Arbor University.
On June 20, the Board and President held a dedication ceremony for the new Harold Rainwater Indoor Riding Arena on the grounds of the Asbury College Equine Center, Palisades Farm.
The close of FY 2006-2007 confirmed that the College had received the highest annual gift income in its history.
Dr. Gray conducted the first “Department Managers’ Retreat” at Cliffview, Kentucky on August 1-2. This was the first such planning and devotional pre-term retreat that included both Faculty (department chairs) and staff (middle management officers and the President’s Cabinet.) Dr. Gray announced that this group would continue to meet regularly, as the Leadership Council.
On August 5, Dr. Gray and her husband, Ken, hosted a reception in their home to introduce the new Provost to Faculty and spouses.
On August 13, the Presidents and Cabinets of the College and Asbury Theological Seminary began meeting regularly to discuss matters related to “inter-institutional cooperation.” Additional meetings were held on September 24 and December 5 of this year.
New student enrollment for fall was the highest in college history.
The new Asbury College Student Center was formally opened for student use on the first day of classes, August 28.
In the Fall the Department of Foreign Languages was renamed the Department of World Languages, and instruction in elementary Mandarin Chinese was added. Zheng Yanhong and Liu Yuan began a one-year program in that language. Classes were also offered at Jessamine County public schools for their students.
The Board of Trustees approved several major changes in the College program. These were
officially termed “Substantive Changes,” which required special approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and were approved by the Board in connection with the ongoing process for the College’s scheduled reaffirmation. These new programs were: an Associate of Arts degree, off-site campuses, Distance Learning, “Fluid Sites,” and a new Master’s Degree in Social Work.
In addition the Board reaffirmed “the continuing cooperation with Asbury Theological Seminary” and authorized a “Task Force” to develop “an appropriate structure to accomplish joint initiatives.” Board officers were elected as well: Mr. C.E. Crouse as Chair, Dr. David Stevens as Vice-Chair and Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove as Secretary.
The week of October was devoted to Inaugural events, including special Chapels and a public forum on Asbury’s role in the future of Christian higher education in the U.S. arranged by the Hon. Gregory F. Van Tatenhove, United States District Judge. The culmination was Friday, October 5, beginning with a Commissioning Service for Dr. Gray and her husband, Ken, in Hughes Auditorium. The formal Inauguration ceremony came in Hughes at 10:30. Greetings were presented by Mr. Zach Stone (Student Body President 2007-2008) on behalf of the Student Body, Ms Carol Sue Ray (President-Elect of Alumni Board) for the Alumni, and Prof. Ed McKinley (Faculty Marshall) on behalf of the Faculty. The Keynote address was given by the Hon. Mitch McConnell, US Senator and Senate Minority Leader. After being formally commissioned by former College Presidents John Oswalt, David Gyertson, Paul Rader and William Crothers, the new President brought formal remarks.
Following a process of widespread participation by the campus community and off-campus “stakeholders,” the self-study steering committee announced the “Cornerstone Project,” as the College’s “Quality Enhancement Project [QEP.]” The QEP was a new requirement for SACSCOC reaffirmation. The Cornerstone Project would be built upon the “four foundations of the project,”
Scripture, Holiness, Stewardship and Mission.
On December 13, Dr. Gray met with the Leadership Council, to discuss her inaugural vision that the College should be “informed by the past, building for the future.” She noted that change was essential: a new study showed that the ten top jobs in the year 2010 did not even exist yet. There were two fundamental questions the College must answer: what do we want the students to know and what to we want them to be. In reply to the first, she proposed they must know how to solve problems that do not yet exist, to use tools that have not been invented, and to prepare for jobs that do not exist yet. In reply to the second, they should be persons in relationship with Christ, they should be living victoriously in their faith, be proclaimers, and be centered upon Christ and not themselves. She proclaimed institutions can be “born again” in the same way that individuals are, by experiencing a new birth by the Holy Spirit. She drew a careful distinction between “heritage” and “tradition.”
The New Year’s issue of The Jessamine Journal (January 3, 2008) listed Dr. Sandra Gray’s selection as the first woman President of Asbury College in its 117-year history as one of “the 10 most intriguing stories of 2007.” The article included a quotation from Dr. Dorothy Barbo, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee that the fact that Dr. Gray was a woman had “nothing to do with the decision-making process.”
January 14: First Chapel of the Spring semester, “Cornerstone Chapel,” highlighting the themes of the College QEP.
Retention from of Freshman to Sophomore was 82 percent, the highest in ten years. Spring enrollment of 1,164 was the highest in six years.
On February 1 the Men’s Baseball Team was formally reactivated, under Mr. Lee Rogers as head coach and with 30 men on the opening roster. Mr. Rogers was hired in August 2006 to begin recruitment for a full squad for 2008. The season opened February 16.
In March the first student-led college revival was held in Hughes Auditorium, under the auspices of Mr. Daniel Baer ’08 Student body Vice President for Spiritual Life. Services were held as Chapel services Monday and Wednesday, and in the evenings.
During Spring semester, the College instituted an Associate of Arts (AA) degree, and a Masters of Social Work degree (MSW) to begin in the Fall of the same year. The College announced the creation of three ACHIEVE programs on the Orlando campus of Asbury Theological Seminary to begin in the Fall, in a partnered venture.
Senior Basketball forward Brett Johnson was named 2007 Male Champion of the Year in the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and Most Valuable Player in basketball. This was the first time an Asbury athlete had won this award.
Swimming Coach Dorothy Kempf named NAIA National Coach of the Year for 2008.
Senior Mitch Colley won the title Actor of the Year in a national competition conducted by the International Model and Talent Association meeting in Los Angeles.
The March 29 issue of The War Cry, the Salvation Army’s national publication, named Asbury as the “Salvationist Alma Mater,” noting that Asbury was “one of the most influential schools in the lives of Salvationists worldwide.”
April 24-26, the College hosted the first “Engaging Culture Weekend.” This included a concert with Hollywood composer Bruce Broughton, “Narnia Night” on Friday, and the fourth annual Highbridge Film Festival on Saturday.
On June 1, Rev. Greg Haselhoff became Associate Dean of Campus Ministries and College Chaplain. At the same time Rev. Stuart Smith moved to the Institutional Advancement staff.
On the same date, Mr. Bill Hall, Jr. became College Registrar, when the position was separated from the duties of Associate Academic Dean.
June 19-22, Asbury celebrated its 100th Reunion.
On June 29 Lucky Day Studios, an independent film production company organized by Asbury Theater Arts Professor Jeff Day and Tom Lockridge, Commonwealth Attorney for the 13th District, began work on a feature film, ”Unrequited,” to be released in late 2009. The company is not connected to Asbury, but would provide Asbury students with opportunities to observe and work with industry professionals in film production. On its website the Studio is described: “With the goal of producing low-budget, independent feature films, Lucky Day Studios is dedicated to the establishment and growth of the film industry in the state of Kentucky by allowing Kentucky’s college and university students serving as interns and apprentices to work side-by-side with industry professionals on all Lucky Day Studio productions.”
During the Summer 50 Asbury students led by Dr. Jim Owens provided support for the broadcast of the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.
In the fall, Dr. John Paul Vincent was named to the college’s first named endowed professorship. He became the first holder of the Gardner Endowed Professorship for the Promotion of Holiness.
Dr. Gray set an enrollment goal of 2,000 (1500 in traditional undergraduate programs, 250 each in ACHIEVE and graduate programs) by 2015. She noted it was a “bold goal,” but God was calling us there and we must be obedient.
Major administrative changes were announced. Separate Schools of the Arts & Sciences, Professional Studies and Graduate Programs/ACHIEVE were to be created and the college was to become Asbury University by the end of the academic year. A new position, Director of Marketing was created, and Mr. Glenn Hamilton became Assistant Vice President for Human Resources, Risk Management and Physical Plant, with Cabinet level responsibility. This changes were later modified and implementation of the “schools” delayed until Spring 2010.
An Adult Degree Completion Program was started at the Asbury campus in Orlando.
Ms. Lisa Harper was named Director of Admissions.
On October 3 at a campus rally, the Asbury College March was officially revived as the Asbury Fight Song, along with the college’s “first ever pep band.”
In its Fall meeting the Board of Trustees directed the move to three new Schools be complete by July 1, and the transition to university status completed for final action at the Board meeting on October 29-31, 2009.
The Board also approved the construction of a new Communications Art Building on property adjacent to the Fine Arts Building. Official Groundbreaking ceremonies were originally announced for the March 2009 Board meeting.
In November, Barack Hussein Obama, Democrat, was elected President of the United States.
The First Salvation Army North American Music Leaders’ Forum was held over January 15-18 on campus, hosted by Drs. Ron and Bea Holz. Music leaders from all five North American territories of The Salvation attended.
On January 25, the Moulton Memorial Salvation Army Student Center was rededicated by the Salvation Army National Commander, Commissioner Israel Gaither.
The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities elected Dr. Sandra Gray to its Board of Directors at its Annual Business Meeting, January 29-31.
On February 11, the Administration announced that in light of the “current financial climate” the college would hold tuition, room and board charges for next year at this year’s level. This required a general freeze on remaining discretionary budget lines, and no increase in salary or wages for the coming year 2009-2010.
In January and February, disused buildings on the future site of the new Communications Arts Building were razed and the ground prepared for the new construction. However, the official Groundbreaking for the projected Communications Art Building was postponed from March until the Reunion in June.
The Asbury College Swim Team won the Appalachian Conference Meet at Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va on February 21, and qualified for the National NAIA Swimming Championship in St Louis.
Groundbreaking for the Andrew S. Miller Center for Communications Arts was held at 11 a.m., June 27; in the evening the “Communications Arts Showcase” program was presented, hosted by the Honorary Chairs for the project, Dean Jones and his wife Lory.
In August two new administrative positions were made operational: Director of Cross Cultural Studies, Dr. Kathryn Hendershot, and Director of Marketing and Communication, Mr. Frank Goad.
In addition, Mr. Morgan Tracy was named Director of the Kinlaw Library.
Two new academic majors, Worship Arts and Political Science, were opened for the Fall term.
At the same time, a new administrative structure of Academic Affairs was created. Four new entities were announced: the College of Arts & Sciences (Jon Kulaga, Interim Dean); School of Education (Verna Lowe, Dean); School of Communication Arts (Jim Owens, Dean) and School of Graduate & Professional Studies (Bonnie Banker, Dean).
The change of name and status of institution from college to Asbury University was made official, to be implemented beginning March 2010.
The position of Assistant to the President for Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment was created, to be held by Dr. Verna Lowe.
Enrollment from all sources reached 1,607, the highest in the institution’s history.
On September 24 the Kentucky League of Cities presented its first-ever award for the “City Official of the Year” to Harold R. Rainwater, Mayor of Wilmore and 35-year veteran on the Asbury Faculty.
In October the ad-hoc Virtual Learning Committee was established with Dr Steve Clements as Chair, charged with “recommendations for how Asbury might move ahead with more expeditiously into the online teaching environment.”
On December 8, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools reaffirmed Asbury’s accreditation for another ten years. This included the Quality Enhancement Project, the Cornerstone Project, offsite locations, and “the expansion of academic delivery to include both distance education and online learning.”