Whenever people ask me where I work I say Samford University. 90% of the time, the next question is "what to do you teach there?" which leads to my answer "No, I am an administrator. I work in campus life." At that point, the person either remembers a curmudgeon dean that punished them for a sensational college prank or they think I plan parties all the time.
Many of the programs and events I plan are fun but at the heart of it, there is a serious intent - To prepare students to lead lives of responsibility, character. I try to do everything I can to plant the seed of compassion and service in their hearts so that they are actively engaged in their communities and of service in their lives post-graduation. I want them to be a good neighbor, a real friend, even when that someone they encounter or befriend is outside of their comfort zone. I want them to feel comfortable leaving their comfort zone. I want them to lead a life of transparency. And it is my prayer, that they will welcome Christ into their hearts so that others will see Him present in all of their actions, their decisions, and their behavior, rather than simply in the preachy words they might "use" rather than live. For those students that have already welcomed Christ into their hearts, it is my prayer that college will be a time of refinement, where they will deepen in their faith, wrestle with the difficult questions of life, and find strength and encouragement in their faith. It is my prayer that in life's most difficult of circumstances, their faith will sustain them and that God would show and grant me the opportunity to be a source of encouragement and support. It is my prayer that I will deepen in my own faith through my work with these students, that they would see me, wholly imperfect except for the grace of God, working out my own faith on a daily basis, as I too, wrestle with the difficult circumstances of life.
Yesterday, over 700 new students chose Samford to begin what will be the best four years of their life, if they allow that process to take shape. It can be a time of great joy, and memories that will last a lifetime. Every one of those students comes with a different heritage, a different background, different values, differing levels of confidence, courage, understanding, encouragement. This is what makes college such a thrilling time. It is a blessing to me to engage with these students. I love my job.