Evangel University – over 80 acres of campus, six residential halls, two academic buildings, one clocktower, a fine arts building, dining hall, athletic center, library, and more. Along with the buildings, Evangel University consists of more than 2,200 students. These students make up the best part of Evangel university – the community. But just what does this community mean to those who live and breathe on the 80 acres of campus and spend a majority of their time in the academic buildings, dining hall, and library? Let’s find out.
Melissa Rivera, RA of Spence 3rd North, explains what Evangel community means to her by her use of the word “connections”. The Evangel community is all about increased connections that “include moments, observations, and learning with whomever you are connection with.” For Melissa, these include connections with other leaders in the same vocational field, connections with peers and professors who consistently challenge us to grow, and an ultimate connection with God.
Charity Adaro, junior, and Secretary for Lewis Hall, says that to her community “means home.” Charity came to Evangel from Hawaii and says that it can sometimes be lonely having her family all the way across the Pacific Ocean. But she says those feelings go away when she reminds herself “of the community of people [she has] here.” She continued saying, “Evangel is a place where I feel at home.” She recalled her first chapel at Evangel, during move-in weekend when she saw all the other families hugging their brand new college student – “it made me sad because my family couldn’t come with me.” While her first chapel initially made her feel sad, with the prayer and hugs of her Resident Directors, Thomas and Bethany Biro, she said it was also the first moment she realized that Evangel was where she was meant to be, and that Evangel is her home.
Josiah Gordon, senior youth ministry major, and RA of Krause 1st South, says that the Evangel community is his place of “security and growth”. Throughout his years at Evangel, Josiah has found great friends that have truly turned into family for him. As part of his journey here, Josiah says that he has had the opportunity to “grow spiritually and academically” and all it’s taken is for him to go seek each opportunity out. The Evangel community means the world to Josiah and he truly believes it is this community that has helped him to experience so much growth in college.
Cassandra Schmitt, EU Host and resident of Burgess Hall, described Evangel’s community as her “family and home away from home.” Cassandra said that the people who make up this community are incredible people who love the Lord and will share that love with others. She continued to say, “People will treat you with kindness – it doesn’t matter if you are a stranger or a best friend.” Regarding the professors that make up this community, Cassandra said she enjoys just how much the professors care for the students and how much they want to help each student succeed and thrive. She specifically noted how the professors will “open up their offices and homes to [students] so that [they] can feel welcomed and loved.” Overall, Cassandra said that the Evangel community is truly unlike any other place she has ever experienced.
The Evangel community means so much to so many people. But one thing that I think we can all agree on is this: Evangel University is home.