[wpvideo 4KVGfGJb]Being called to work at a Christian University is an incredible opportunity and something that I do not take for granted. I am reminded daily that I have been blessed with this opportunity. On our campus when students complete their finals and the campus becomes a bit more quiet, which for me often means time to unbury my desk, read articles I’ve been meaning to get to, reviewing strategic goals, planning for the next semester, and reflecting upon the many ways in which I’ve been blessed professionally and personally.
Growing up, one of the traditions that my Mother passed along to my sister and I was listening to good (or sometimes cheesy) Christmas music and watching Christmas movies. For some reason this included the movie, The Sound of Music, and the song “These Are a Few of My Favorite Things.” I remember driving around the town of Canby, Oregon in my Mom’s old VW Bug singing at the top of our lungs both Christmas Carols and this Julie Andrews classic. So in the spirit of Christmas, through the process of reflection, and in honor of my Mom, these are a few of my favorite things (about NCU):
- Watching students walk across the stage at graduation and their parents, spouses, or family members tear up.
- Assisting students as they find their ‘call’. This can at times mean finding a career path, but it is also watching students grow as leaders and good people. Knowing that when they leave NCU they will be positively contributing to their family, their church, their city, and their world.
- Serving the community at our Embrace the City Day.
- Watching our teams win or lose (it’s more fun when we win) gather together at the end of each game or match and invite the opposing team to pray with them – often with the declaration “FOR HIM” at the end of the prayer.
- Serving breakfast at our “Late Night Breakfast Beacon Night” during Finals Week.
- Seeing our worship team lead the students, faculty and staff during weekly chapel services. This is especially true when the room is dark and you can feel the room move.
- Beacon Madness. This is an all-school pep rally for all of our sports teams.
- Spending time with my staff at our annual retreats where we go professionally and plan for the year.
- Being routinely inspired by a chapel speaker.
- Watching our new students come back from our Annual Orientation Rafting Trip sunburned with smiles on their faces.
- Watching our students get their ‘socks knocked off’ by one of their professors. Starting the semester by thinking they won’t survive a specific class, but ending the semester thinking they were just taught by the ‘world’s best professor’.
- Coffee with fellow staff members, faculty members and/or students. It is often during these chats that I am reminded of how lucky I am.
- Being able to open meetings in prayer.
- Watching the annual Residence Hall Music Video competition.
- Handing out awards at our annual Honors Chapel where those who have excelled in and out of the classroom are recognized in front of their peers.
- Being a part of a Higher Purpose than Winning or Enrollment or Putting on Cool Programs. We have an administration, faculty and staff that work hard and all out for the glory of God because of what he’s given us. We are creating a transformational experience – one in which wisdom is informed by faith that leads to lives of service. We are creating an environment where people grow and thrive and gratefully represent the One who sent them here.
All to say… NCU, you are one of my favorite things.
By Michael Fuller, VP for Enrollment & Student Development