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Fall 2020 Semester Commences with Inaugural Convocation

Tigerville, SC (August 24, 2020) The 2020 fall semester at North Greenville University (NGU) officially commenced with the birth of a brand-new tradition – the inaugural convocation service held Friday, August 21. Though an overcast and drizzly sky hung low over a 70-degree morning that felt more like mid-October than mid-August, a palpable energy of excitement and enthusiasm erupted through Turner Chapel as students, staff, and faculty gathered together (both online and via physically distanced and limited-capacity seating) to celebrate the new semester.

Vice President for Campus Ministry and Student Engagement Jody Jennings opened the historic ceremony with a simple yet profound definition.

“The word convocation [means] a formal gathering of people. It is gathering, not just for any reason, but for the purpose of, in our context, exalting Christ.”

With those two short sentences, Jennings perfectly summarized the entire mission of NGU and the purpose of the gathering as the University launches a new semester.

NGU President, Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr., followed Jennings by opening God’s Word to 1 Corinthians 15 and directing the focus to the God-glorifying value of gathering to live out shared humanity.

“Though we suffer through many things in this life, including death, disease, divisions and yes, pandemics, we are ultimately united together through the shared experience of being uniquely human. We are made in God’s image, under God’s sovereignty, and for God’s ultimate purpose,” he said.

Amid such troubling circumstances faced today, President Fant reminded the NGU family of two victorious truths that triumph through shared humanity: hope and redemption.

“Hope is … uniquely human. Of all the species on the planet, we alone can have a saving relationship with God.”

As the University forges ahead through a seemingly historic season of countless challenges, and as students, faculty, and staff begin a new semester that will undoubtedly look unlike any semester ever experienced, “we can strengthen one another, encourage one another, and spur one another onward in the hope of the glory of redemption in Christ,” he said.

The community has gathered together this fall to once again exalt Christ in its pursuit of an exceptionally excellent academic experience. As President Fant closed his inaugural convocation address, he reminded the entire NGU family of its purpose in coming together as Christian brothers and sisters in a time of egocentric and pessimistic isolation.

“Education,” he said, “is a perpetually optimistic activity that points to the ultimate answer of alienation in this world – Jesus Christ.”

May it be so for the 2020 fall semester at NGU!

To learn about NGU’s nationally recognized academic programs, visit www.ngu.edu/academics. 

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