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An evening of gratitude: President’s Gala spotlights students

“Our continued success depends on people such as you who love Erskine, believe in our mission, and are willing to give so that we might not only succeed but thrive,” Erskine President Dr. Steven Adamson told a gathering of supporters at the 2022 President’s Gala, a reception and dinner in the Bowie Arts Center February 24.

“A few years ago, a lady asked an Erskine development officer to give her three good reasons to invest in Erskine. He replied that he would show her 600 excellent reasons—the number of students we had at the time. That number is now closer to 900,” the president said.

Offering an opportunity to meet Adamson and his wife Von, who came to Due West in December, the event also allowed guests to hear from students and recent graduates who have benefited from supporters’ gifts of money, time, and expertise. Five young people expressed their thanks as they stood and addressed attendees during the dinner.

Faith Wright, who played tennis for the Fleet and completed her studies in December, has already begun her business career in the field of human resources. “When I think of Erskine, I think of the place that provided comfort through my growing pains and where I experienced tremendous growth, both mentally and spiritually,” she said.

Jaheim Scott, a sophomore who is a member of the Fleet football team, looks forward to receiving a mathematics degree from Erskine and a mechanical engineering degree from Clemson through a dual-degree program. “Erskine is setting me up academically for the future,” he said. “Erskine allowed me to be the first person in my family to go to college.”

Mikayla Glenn, a 2020 graduate who is now a student in Erskine’s Master of Arts in Christian Counseling program at the seminary, said she “didn’t know how much this place would mean to me” when she began her Erskine journey. “I am thankful for the professors, friends, and community and also the experience and knowledge I have gained,” she said.

Caroline Woolard, a senior biology major and enthusiastic participant in Reformed University Fellowship, counts “the faculty’s devotion to educating from a Christian perspective” among the highlights of her Erskine experience. After studying abroad at Oxford University last semester, she was eager to return to Erskine, “where I have a close relationship with my professors and a strong Christian fellowship.”

Noah Jordan, a senior Bible and religion major, cited a scholarship that “didn’t [just] help me—it saved me,” recalling his miscalculation of how much he owed on his student bill. “I was about $5,000 off on that estimate,” he said ruefully. “I didn’t have $5,000. My dad’s an ARP pastor, so you know he didn’t have $5,000.” An anonymous donor came to Noah’s rescue. “I tripped, I fell….and yet, it’s a beautiful thing that when God reached out a hand to help me…it was your hand.”

The President’s Gala was attended by about 100 guests and was followed by “An Evening with C.S. Lewis,” featuring British actor David Payne in a one-man show portraying the Christian author and apologist. Payne has played the role of C.S. Lewis more than a thousand times across the United States and Great Britain. Some 470 people, including many of the guests at the Gala event, attended the show in Lesesne Auditorium.

“We had ticket buyers from as far away as New York and Virginia,” says Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Relations Paul Bell. “We were delighted to host such a fine performance on the evening of the President’s Gala.”

 

 

 

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