Independent News of Liberty University
“I have asked for the unusual privilege of calling together the board of trustees this morning, before the committees meet.
“I believe a summary of the past twelve months is in order, given our context. When I arrived last year, we immediately set out to prepare for the [Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)] Team visit in April. That visit did not go as we had expected, and it led to our appeal in San Antonio in June. Though the appeal vote did not resolve our five-year struggle, in September we won a remand of our case with SACS, and along with our attorneys and the entire executive team, we prepared in earnest for December. We presented our case before the SACS committee on Dec. 6, and two days later, we accomplished what no other college has ever done – we were reaffirmed by SACS and taken off probation. After five years of struggle we are out of crisis.
“Intermingled with all those legal meetings, the college saw over one hundred students saved in our fall revival, balanced our budget and ended our fiscal year in the black.
“This herculean effort and victory could not have been accomplished anywhere else, I believe. The faculty, staff, board and students of BPC are to be commended, and BPC is now ready to once again be a thriving institution.
“I missed two very obvious events of the past year however. In July, my fifteen-year old son Braxton committed suicide. I was back to work a week later because, frankly, that’s all I knew to do. The subsequent result was my hospitalization in November. A heart catheterization, the removal of seven pints of fluid and all the tests in the world can’t resolve this one issue.
“Brewton-Parker College cannot become a healthy, growing and stable college under the leadership of a man who is broken. And I am admitting to you that I am broken. I can’t get over his death, and I am not sure I want to. I do know that I cannot muster the fight needed to be the leader of our college. My family and my heart need healing, and you deserve better.
“Therefore I am resigning as president, so I can go back to Texas and heal with my wife and ten-year-old son, Drake. It is one thing to lead a college through a crisis, but this position demands a person’s full attention and full strength. At the moment, I have neither. When Braxton died, a part of me died as well.
“I shall endeavor to fulfill whatever obligations are necessary through the year, though I believe attending to the needs of my family are most important to me at the moment. I want to personally thank you for calling me as President, and allowing me to see the greatest victories I’ve ever experienced in my entire 30-year professional life. I believe God has an incredible future in store for Brewton Parker College. I shall be cheering you on.”
Ergun Caner, D.Theol.
Liberty University says bestselling author Karen Kingsbury is becoming a visiting professor for its residential and online programs.
The Lynchburg school founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell says Kingsbury will offer students the secrets to her storytelling and to selling more than 25 million copies of her books.
Officials say the Christian author will contribute to the university’s English and creative writing programs and provide writing curriculum.
The schedule includes Governor Terry McAuliffe, New Orleans Saints tight end Ben Watson, Christian author Beth Moore, television producer Mark Burnett (“Survivor,” “The Voice,” “The Bible,” “A.D.”), Fox News host Sean Hannity, Grammy Award-winning artist Kirk Franklin, television personality Sean Lowe (“The Bachelor”), and next generation leader Matt Chandler.
Liberty will also bring in Christian artists like Kari Jobe, Shane & Shane, Nichole Nordeman and Rush of Fools.
John Dawson is transferring from Marquette to Liberty Univertsity to play basketball. A sophomore, appeared in 24 games during his freshman season, averaging 2.0 points, 1.1 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 10.2 minutes per game. He made his biggest mark in last season’s 80-72 overtime win at Georgetown. He played 31 minutes in that game and scoreed 12 points, including seven in overtime.