Founders' Day 2020 | Judson University Christian College

Judson Leaders Honor the Past and Look Toward the Future

(ELGIN, IL – October 23, 2020) Judson University welcomed Architect H. Randolph Holmes Jr. to celebrate the 57th annual Founders’ Day on October 23. Throughout the day’s celebration, leadership of the University shared honored those who helped to establish Judson College in 1963.

Judson began as an undergraduate college in 1913 as part of Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. The university was named for Adoniram Judson, the first Protestant missionary sent from North America to preach in Burma. Judson established its Elgin location in 1963 and was renamed a university in 2007.

Shamaine WilliamsJudson’s Founders’ Day events began with a breakfast meeting of the Spiritual Council, which is led by council members Bishop Dr. Michael Love and Dr. Karen Love. During the meeting, Bishop Love and Dr. Love presented Judson freshman Shamaine Williams of Spanish Town, Jamaica, with the first Love Family Christian Foundation scholarship. Shamaine was recognized for her excellent academics and activities at home and in her church community.

Following the breakfast, Judson’s guests and trustees attended the Founders’ Day chapel, which began with Provost Dr. Gillian Stewart-Wells recitation of Judson’s 1968 Statement of Purpose which outlines the university’s mission to be the church at work in higher education.

“It is the conviction of the faculty, administration, and Board of Trustees of Judson College that education is at its best when it provides experiences of liberation—that is, when it helps to free persons from bigotry, provincialism, and unexamined belief systems. We consider it imperative for intelligent, searching minds that issues be discussed and options evaluated with humility, since education involves a process of discrimination among alternative answers to the great issues of life,” recited Dr. Stewart-Wells.

Randy HolmesThe chapel presentation from H. Randolph Holmes Jr., president and Senior Principal at Glavé & Holmes Architecture, illustrated Judson’s value of providing a Christian education as he explored how our concept of identity has changed throughout the years and as seen through the lens of architecture. He outlined how society has determined its identity, or self-worth, from ideas that philosophers have interpreted as traditional, romantic, and modern. He illustrated how each identity can be seen in architectural structures created throughout the ages.

“For me all of architecture is allegorical ... I believe it can and it should point to greater realities than we see now, and I would argue that's a biblical concept," said Holmes.

Holmes described how Christians use a Gospel perspective when understanding their own identity. He discussed the story of the prodigal son as an example of how God wants us to find our identity through our Christian worldview and in understanding how God loves us. He encouraged the university to continue teaching students from a gospel focused understanding of the liberal arts and architecture. Holmes also encouraged the university to consider carefully how its campus provides a strong sense of place that undergirds the identity of the school as it plans for continued improvements to the campus plan and structure.

“Never lose your commitment to Jesus Christ,” Holmes advised leaders of Judson University. “Hold fast and foremost to the gospel and your identity.”

Nurses LuncheonFollowing Chapel, Founders’ Day guests attended a private luncheon and heard Judson President Gene Crume share ways that Judson celebrated Founders’ Day and Baptist heritage week. He told how the university honored Judson Faculty Emeritus Dr. Stuart Ryder in 2019 by launching a Day of Service to be held the Monday of Founders’ week, which encourage the community and alumni to serve others where ever they lived.

Description automatically generatedThis past Monday, in recognition of Doc Stuart Ryder’s Day of Service, the university held a luncheon to honor past campus nurses. Those honored included, in order of their time of service: Gladys Erickson, Joan Didier, Ladonna Sunderman, Barb Myhrman, Nancy Swanson, Mary Sterba and Susan Weber. Weber retired this fall after 23 years of service. Judson named these former nurses as Nurse Emeriti in recognition for their service to the Judson community. Dr. Mark Thompson, who has been the visiting doctor of the university for many years, was also recognized.

Go to Judson’s Facebook page to see a full recording of Judson’s Founders’ Day Chapel.

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