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A new tradition was born at Campbellsville University recently with a service of dedication featuring the Lamp of Learning being passed to the freshmen of the class of 2013.
The service took place in Ransdell Chapel to officially welcome and bless the students who began their first semester of college Monday, Aug. 24.
President Michael V. Carter said, "Thank you for being here for this historic chapel service as we enter into a time of dedication for the Class of 2013. Our collective prayer from the faculty, staff and coaches is that you find a sense of your calling while at CU."
Sharing some of his own college experiences, Carter said his most important was a question to the girl who would lead him to the Lord Jesus Christ and become his wife - that of what gave her the light, the joy he saw in her.
"My wife and I have been married 36 years," he said, introducing his wife, Debra. "As our relationship grew during college, I saw a joy in her that was unique, special, different. I wanted that joy."
He said that as he came to know her, he understood that the light he saw in her was the relationship she had with Jesus Christ.
Carter said that as he grew in knowledge of Jesus, he realized that the joy he sought comes from serving others - not in being served. He noted the Gospel of John 15:11, where Jesus is recorded to have said, "These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full."
Continuing the service, Dr. Frank Cheatham, vice president for academic affairs at CU, introduced Scotty Lane Clenney, a freshman at then Campbellsville College in 1959 who received her bachelor of science in 1963 and is responsible for the university's official seal.
Clenney said she had no idea that she was beginning a journey of her life and wondered where she might have wound up had it not been for her Christian education.
"I was scared," she said, "sitting there thinking, how can I study enough, how can I pass, how can I make friends, how can I pay for all this?"
Cheatham invited Haley Brinker of the Class of 2013 to accept the president's Charge for the freshmen to find their calling at CU.
"As a presidential scholar," Cheatham said, "she represents and exemplifies the desire for higher education."
He picked up the Lamp of Learning and gave it to Brinker, keeping one hand on the opposite handle so they were both holding it at the same time, then said, "The Lamp of Learning symbolizes your move from high school to the collegiate level and your taking of responsibility for that. May you be faithful in your studies and follow the example of Jesus Christ to become Christian servant leaders."
Brinker took the lamp and sat it on its pillar as the Class of 2013 induction was completed.
- Linda Waggener is marketing and media relations coordinator at Campbellsville University.