Celebrating the limitless possibilities of the ‘new Evangel’
September 3rd, 2013 | Hope Hamilton
The excitedly packed week of events known as “EU Launch” (that’s new student orientation in Evangel-speak) was a smashing success. Hundreds of students have flooded onto campus, and thanks to EU Launch they are now pros in all things Evangel.
Last week I had the honor of being a Launch leader to a group of 12 transfer and transitioning students. I arrived on campus early, along with the 52 other Launch leaders, for a week of training and preparation. Under the guidance of Activities Director Christy Rowden we were whipped into shape as we prepared for and prayed over the incoming students.
It all kicked off the morning of Friday, August 23, 2013, with move in at 8 a.m. Launch leaders, parents, pastors, professors and families worked side-by-side to unload U-Hauls, pick-up trucks and minivans, and haul belongings to the residence halls where students could turn the empty, uniform boxes known as dorm rooms into home.
During my time at Evangel there have been several experiences that blew me away, but seeing the professors show up early in the morning of their own free will (on their last free weekend no less), in 90 degree weather to haul couches, Rubbermaids, and stacks of clothes into residence halls really blessed me. The entire faculty and student body was excited for the record-breaking turnout of new students, and seeing the service in the hearts of those professors was amazing.
Once the students were moved in, their schedule of events began. The following days were filled with informative sessions, Spirit-filled worship services, fun events and, as promised, great food. The whole week turned out to be a rewarding experience of relationship building and simply seeing God move in the lives of the new and returning students alike.
Dr. Carol Taylor (our president elect) addressed the student body a couple of times during Launch, and every time it was confirmation of the great places God is taking us.
The grand finale was Tuesday night, when Evangel held the first-ever igNIGHT ceremony. Students and faculty were led onto Evangel’s lawn by the EU Marching Band, followed by the residence halls’ presidents alongside Dr. Taylor, the student body president, and other key staff members, all decked out in maroon and white.
Energy seeped from every corner of the campus as the entire student body came together. As the torch was lit and the speeches were made, there was a new unity formed that made us not just one as a University, but one as a better University.
In her speech, Dr. Taylor said she dreams of an Evangel where we stand apart and upright as “mighty oaks of righteousness,” and I know she is not alone in that dream.
So with a successful Launch week behind us, here’s to a new year and the limitless possibilities of a new Evangel!
Want more? Check out the EU Launch video blog for a one-minute recap of the awesomeness we shared.