by Dru Walters, Student Contributor
On January 17th, Alice Lloyd College welcomed students back during the opening Convocation to ring in the spring semester. President Joe Stepp began by informing students of the multiple changes the campus will be undergoing for aesthetic improvement, functionality, and overall commitment to continually serving the best interests of the students while providing them with a marketable degree and little to no debt in the process.
The new initiatives consist of repainting the campus tennis courts, new blacktop in the parking lot below the maintenance building, laying down fresh sod, and improving the functionality of the online portal where students can pay bills and register for classes. Students can also expect new construction projects begin, including an outdoor recreational area between Carrick Dormitory and the Campus Police Department. President Stepp went on to say that construction will soon begin on the new Campus Center, a $15 million project that is expected to conclude in August of 2019. The campus center will include many new and practical resources for students, including a new fitness center, recreation/game room, and walking track.
Emery Minton Jr. was the convocation’s guest speaker, delivering a message of overcoming the obstacles that students encounter in all walks of life, and encouraging the audience to rise above mediocrity, citing the inadequacy of a life not dedicated to greatness. Minton has served in various ministries for over 30 years as a student and administrative pastor, director for First Priority Tri-States, and pastor of Christian Life Fellowship in Jonesville, Virginia.
In his speech, Minton relates the biblical story of the Grapes of Canaan to the notion that students should strive for greatness. In this story, Caleb encourages his fellow Israelites to claim fertile land from tribes and giants that inhabit the mountains surrounding Canaan, even though quite a few of them wish to settle for less fertile land that isn’t quite so difficult to attain. Minton encouraged students to “aim for the mountains” and work hard to attain greatness, even in the face of great adversity.
Minton concludes that, “It never felt good enough to be just good enough;” and went on to explain that in order to really rise above mediocrity, students should be prepared to rise above the influence of crowds, the circumstances of their lives, criticism (good and bad), and most importantly, themselves. Greatness, Minton reminded the audience, is never out of reach, as long is one is willing to take the steps and the make the sacrifices to achieve it.