125-Year Celebration Begins with Founders Day Chapel
North Greenville University began its 125-year celebration of its founding in 1892 on a beautiful fall morning in Tigerville on Wednesday, September 20 with a Founders Day chapel. Founders Day chapel featured an address by 1977 NGU alumnus John Brady.
The celebration began with faculty, dressed in academic regalia, processing to their seats in Turner Chapel as the concert band, conducted by Dr. Darian Washington, played Clifton Williams’ “The Sinfonians.”
After the opening prayer by Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) member Brett Plyler, NGU President Dr. Gene Fant Jr. read Philippians 4:4-7.
“Today, we come rejoicing to celebrate our Founders Day. This is the day that we celebrate the vision that happened here in the Dark Corner of South Carolina; a vision that not only transformed our region, but has reached into the uttermost parts of the earth,” Fant said. “This is the beginning of our 125th year as an institution. We are celebrating this throughout the year. Founders Day is the initiation of this.”
After the NGU Concert Choir, brass, and pipe organ performed David Danner’s “Arise, Your Light Has Come,” Fant introduced the keynote speaker.
“I want you students to know that you are coming along in the footprints of many, many, many people who have contributed to Kingdom work, who have contributed to the educational world, who have contributed to the business world, who have contributed to fine arts, and who have contributed in all areas of human endeavor,” said Fant. “As an institution, we love bringing some of these folks back for you to hear ways North Greenville has contributed to them or how they have been able to contribute to the larger life of Kingdom work as well as human flourishing.”
John Brady came to North Greenville as a student when it was a two-year school, continued his education at Furman, went in to Southwestern Seminary, and continued on to do other work. Brady is now a vice president with the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board (IMB).
“I celebrate today how God has blessed me and blessed many others through this institution,” Brady said.
Brady says we all are born with advantages and disadvantages. He grew up for the most part in Guiana, South America where his parents were missionaries. A disadvantage he experienced in childhood was a dysgraphia condition. An advantage was having a father that knowing his condition, still pushed him to attend college.
He reminisced of the professors that influenced him as a student. Dr. Shirley Hickson, Dr. Wade Hale, and S.C. Brissie were among those who made a lasting impact on his life and defined the person he is today.
“That [influence] began a fascination for me and as it has turned out to be, an intimate part of my life career of working in mission work around the world and leading others to present the Gospel in ways that penetrate the heart to change lives,” Brady said.
During this season of 125th reflection, the university plans to bring many alumni back to demonstrate to current students the ways they can contribute to Kingdom work.
After a closing prayer by Student Government Association (SGA) President Kady Floyd, the Founders Day chapel ended with the singing of the alma mater.
NGU will commemorate this remarkable 125-year milestone of the university’s founding April 2-13, 2018 with special events leading up to the inauguration of the school’s eighth president Dr. Gene Fant Jr. on Friday, April 13. The university hopes many will make plans to visit the campus to celebrate its rich Christ-centered history and traditions heading for the next 125 years—and beyond.
We invite everyone to share their NGU memories with us at www.ngu.edu/125.
Photo: John Brady, 1977 NGU alumnus and vice president with the International Mission Board, addresses the North Greenville Family at Founders Day chapel.
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