The academic year has returned in full swing, bringing both new and returning students back to campus. However, students are not the only ones anticipating their return to campus life. Many faculty and staff have also found themselves equally filled with excitement and with a variety of hopes for the 2022-2023 school year.
“The return of students brings great joy,” said President Dr. Keith Newman. “Campuses were built to be occupied with students engaged in the pursuit of developing minds, bodies, and spirits. I love it when the summer is over and the campus comes alive.”
Rev. Larry Morris, the Vice President for University Relations, agreed. “This summer, I missed the interactions with our students. It is refreshing to have them back on campus! Each one of them is a vital part of our campus community and having them here brings life and purpose to SNU,” he said. “I look forward to seeing how God is going to work in all of our lives this year. I believe many will discover God’s calling for them, develop lifelong relationships, and grow stronger in their faith.”
“What I’m looking forward to the most, you know, is getting to my classroom or walking across campus and seeing students that I’ve missed, but also the new students – how their stories are going to be woven in,” said Dr. Lena Crouso, the Vice President for Intercultural Learning and Engagement.
With administrators agreeing that the most exciting aspect of the start of the semester is the return of students to campus, many had advice for students settling back into life at SNU.
“My advice for all students is to go for it,” said Dr. Scott Strawn, the Vice President for Business and Finance. “Don’t worry about failure or looking silly. When you mess up, make sure you get back up and try again.”
“Go all in. Get involved. Go to concerts, games, and school events. Consider one of the many service opportunities,” said Dr. Michael Redwine, Executive Vice President. “I have never had a student say that they regret being engaged; however, I have had several who offered regrets that they didn’t.”
“My hope this school year for our new students and our returning students is that they take full advantage of the scholarship and friendship the wonderful professors of SNU can provide,” said SNU’s Provost, Dr. Tim Eades. “I’ve had the opportunity to get to know these incredible professors, and they are here to provide you with the very best educational experience. Lean in to all they have in store for you – you will grow and be changed.”
Many also had insights to offer regarding this year’s key verses, Proverbs 3:5-6, and how they foresaw the overarching theme of trust being an integral part of this semester and the attitudes we ought to adopt as a campus community.
“Someone once told me that ‘life is a series of problem-solving opportunities.’ All of us face times in our lives when we are uncertain of the future and how to navigate difficulties. But these scriptures remind us that we can trust God to direct our path,” said Rev. Morris. “I believe God is going to use Proverbs 3:5-6 this year to help us become more aware of his plan and purpose for our lives. I am confident this will be a year when we learn to trust God more.”
“I want to make sure there’s freedom for our students to think about stretching – deciding that this is my year to be uncomfortable in a good way,” said Dr. Crouso. “Whenever I decide to go out on that limb, that’s where the good fruit grows. Fruit has never grown in the crook of a branch – it always grows at the very end. That, to me, is what trust is.”
“As we crawl, walk, or run into this new academic year, I pray that we will trust in the Lord with all our hearts, lean not on our own understandings, and all our ways acknowledge him, being absolutely confident that God will direct our paths,” said Dr. Newman.
As the student body of SNU settles into the routine of the academic year beneath this theme of trust, they can go forward knowing that the faculty and administration are in their corner, rooting for their success.
Photo by Dr. Tim Eades