Fall 2007

Sacred Encounters
Jon R. Wallace, DBA, President
August 30

I love that our faculty moderator has the heart of a shepherd and probably the soul of a pastor. It’s great to be with you tonight. What an amazing year. What a season to be in the work of Jesus Christ through the mission of God First at Azusa Pacific University. I was thinking about that interview with Mike Barnett and our heptathlete, and remembering that Friday and Saturday Mike and Kevin Reid will be in Osaka with Bryan Clay for the world championships. Bryan may be the favorite going into the Olympics. Imagine what this young man from Hawaii who loves to proclaim who Jesus is can do. I can hardly wait to see the ESPN camera put in his face and hear what he has to say. Please be in prayer for Bryan.

As long as we are talking about athletics and the amazing faculty and coaches who shape our student athletes, I thought you might want to take notice of the third Director’s Cup unveiled for the first time here tonight. Three years ago, we celebrated being the first evangelical Christian college to win one of these. I remember Steve Churchill and the blue shirts built us a cabinet in the Hall of Champions and they built space for three. I thought, “Oh man, this is not a good idea. What are we going to say? Well, someday…” In three years, we have filled it! I understand that Dr. Whyte has asked that the next cabinet be built in his office because coaches are also faculty members. I don’t see that happening, but you can talk to him.

So, what are the marching orders for this year? Where is it that I think God wants to take us? How does it fit with where we have come? Let me start by giving you just some that Kim Battle-Walters Denu compiled.

The number 1: For the first time, we have received a remarkable number of students and faculty who have been designated Fulbright scholars and have gone abroad, but for the first time, the university has been designated as a recipient of a Fulbright Scholar in the School of Business and Management from the country of Korea.

The number 2: Our first two Ph.D.s in Education were granted in July. I got to hand those students their diplomas in the stadium. It was a wonderful moment. That makes seven doctoral programs of remarkable God-honoring excellence.

The number 3: The number of students this year who were awarded Fulbright Scholarships, bringing the total to 10 in 5 years. If you get the list of Fullbrights, go online and pull it up. Look at the colleges that manage to get one or two maybe every other year. Look at the Ivy Leaguers and the significant schools represented, and think of a place like Azusa Pacific with 10 in 5 years. That is a huge, “Yeah God!”

The number 6: APU is number six in the nation providing master’s degrees in education to Hispanics and Latinos.

The number 10: APU is 10th in the nation in providing masters’ degrees in education to Asian Americans.

The number 22: The number of full-time faculty of color hired this year, an all-time high. The day I stepped into this office, I said we are going to work on God-honoring diversity. We are going to be a place where students, faculty, and staff from minority communities come and feel welcome; where we reflect the character and nature of Southern California. Twenty-two faculty of color hired in one year is truly remarkable, and Michael, you guys should be commended.

The number 24: The number of faculty promoted.

The number 25: The number of books written by faculty this year.

The number 58: The number of new, full-time faculty hired this year.

The number 61: The number of faculty who received an extended contract.

The number 62: The number of full-time staff hired in the last three months since June 1.

The number 84: 84 percent of our students have agreed that classroom experiences have helped them grow in their faith.

The number 330: The number of international, national, and regional presentations by this remarkable faculty. Faculty, you have no idea how proud the staff members are of the faculty we get to support everyday. I just want you to know that is a huge thing for us. All these blue shirts are willing to give you a toilet plunger or snippers if you want to come help us on any given day.

The number 673: The number of undergraduate students taught at APU this summer. The highest number of summer school students in our history.

The number 2,826: The number of students that participated in service learning this year.

The number 2,320: Total graduates from this university in the last 12 months. 2,320! Can you imagine?

The number 3,020: The number of students who are now taught online.

The number 10,389: The number of unduplicated students taught by APU faculty this year. We were more than 10,300 students in total enrollment in 12 months. That is a huge “Yeah God!” I want to thank all of you for what you did to deliver that kind of God-honoring excellence.

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