Judson University to Celebrate History and Heritage During Founders’ Day 2015
(ELGIN, IL – September 8, 2015) Judson University will prepare for its Founders’ Day celebration Friday, Oct. 16. Each year, this event commemorates the university’s rich history, humble beginnings and visionary forefathers and leaders.
Judson began as a college in 1913 as the undergraduate arm of Northern Baptist Theological Seminary and was named for Adoniram Judson, the first Protestant missionary sent from North America to preach in Burma. This independent, Christian liberal arts institution was established at its Elgin location in 1963 and became a full-fledged university in 2007.
This year’s Founders' Day festivities will celebrate the university’s rich history and heritage. The opening convocation will begin at 10 a.m. in Herrick Chapel (1151 N. State St., Elgin), led by guest speaker Dr. Steven R. Harmon, a visiting associate professor of Historical Theology at Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity in Boiling Springs, N.C.
Prior to his current post, Dr. Harmon served as associate professor of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Ala.; associate professor of Christian Theology at Campbell University Divinity School in Buies Creek, N.C.; and as a visiting professor at both Duke University Divinity School in Durham, N.C., and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, S.C. He has also pastored and taught at various churches and is the author of four books, including “Every Knee Should Bow: Biblical Rationales for Universal Salvation in Early Christian Thought” (2003); “Towards Baptist Catholicity: Essays on Tradition and the Baptist Vision” (2006); “Ecumenism Means You, Too: Ordinary Christians and the Quest for Christian Unity” (2010); and the forthcoming book, “Baptist Identity and the Ecumenical Future: Story, Tradition, and the Recovery of Community” (Baylor University Press, March 2016). He and his wife, Kheresa, have one son.
A luncheon will follow the Founders' Day chapel service at the Betty Lindner Campus Commons at 11:30 a.m. Dr. Gene C. Crume, Judson’s sixth and current president, will be the speaker. Dr. Crume was installed in fall 2013. Previously, he served as an independent consultant working with institutions such as Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and the Peru State College Foundation (Nebraska) on issues related to external relations and strategic planning. He spent a significant portion of his career at his alma mater, Western Kentucky University, where he served as the executive director of the WKU Alumni Association and taught as an adjunct instructor. He has also served as a keynote speaker at college commencements, leadership seminars and association meetings. Additionally, Dr. Crume has authored many articles for national magazines, newspapers and academic journals. He and his wife, Cindy, are the parents of two children.
During the luncheon, the university will honor Dr. James W. Didier as the recipient of this year’s Golden Eagle Award for his dedication and service to the university and community. Dr. Didier, Judson’s fourth president, has dedicated his service to Judson University for almost five decades. He served as an executive vice president and dean of Student Affairs, and he continues as an emeritus board trustee member. Yet, he is best known for establishing the architecture program at Judson during his tenure as president from 1992 to 1998. Today, the School of Art, Design and Architecture continues to honor his legacy and leadership when it hosts the spring architecture symposium, known as the "James Didier Symposium On Christ and Architecture."
The luncheon is open to the public. Register for tickets at: www.judsonu.edu/foundersday/