Volume 63 • Issue 2 • Summer 2023
He Caught The Vision
John King retired from his life’s work of promoting, recruiting, and raising funds for Lubbock Christian University in December of 2022. His 52-year LCU legacy spanned almost all the decades of the university’s existence, and up until his retirement, he was only one of three individuals who had worked for all seven of LCU’s presidents; Don Williams and Rod Blackwood are the other two.
There are several giants in the heritage of Lubbock Christian University. Individuals like F.W. Mattox, Gene and Eileen Hancock, K.C. Moser, Wayne and Yvonne Hinds are just a sampling of the people who planted seeds for future success and whose impact has continued to endure. I believe John King is one of these giants. When I first arrived on LCU’s campus in 2020, I remember being struck by how many times people would mention John King and all the amazing things that he had done. I remember thinking to myself “I need to meet this guy!” and I am so glad that I finally did.
In November, students in Lubbock Christian University’s (LCU) Department of Communication and Fine Arts welcomed 16 autistic adult-learners from the Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research at Texas Tech University to the campus art studio, continuing a partnership that has benefitted both programs for several years.
For the first time in three years, the LCU School of Business’s Christian Perspectives in Leadership trip brought students to meet CEOs and leaders in Forbes 500 companies like Southwest Airlines, Microsoft, and the Dallas Cowboys. LCU professors Laci Richardson and Haley Burton revived the experience after COVID-induced interruption, bringing a new contingent of LCU students and staff to Dallas.
Dr. Sam Ayers’ life’s work has been educating and developing the love of learning in young people. Driven by an infectious curiosity and an inquisitive nature, he has taught, mentored, and inspired students for over 39 years. Sam began as a fifth-grade classroom teacher, but in the next few years that followed, he taught first graders and then a combined class of second and third graders. Over the next 34 years, he held positions of instructional specialist, assistant principal, principal, regional director of Texas Core Knowledge, West Texas coordinator for National Core Knowledge, assistant superintendent for elementary education, associate superintendent for teaching and learning K-12, associate professor, and professor. He currently serves in LCU’s School of Education as the Director of Graduate Education.
Many programs boast about their impact on an increasingly globalized world, but for students in LCU’s Graduate Department of Nursing, the academic opportunities like the International Nursing Research Congress, hosted each year in a different city around the world, continues to showcase the top-tier scholarship and preparation they receive.
There are many awards given at the culmination of each academic year to recognize individuals who have exceeded expectations and emerged as scholars and leaders on campus. Among these awards are the prestigious L.R., Sr. and Ruth Wilson Excellence in Teaching Award, established by former LCU trustee, Dr. Ray Wilson, in honor of his parents.
Lubbock Christian University’s Office of Alumni Relations recognized recipients of the 2023 Alumni Awards at a campus event earlier this month. The awards are presented each year to recognize the outstanding success and distinguished service of individuals in their professions, communities, the Kingdom, and to LCU. These individuals are making significant impacts not only in their immediate circles of influence but also in their communities and churches as well.
Friendships formed during college often last a lifetime. Close bonds like those between roommates, club brothers and sisters, and best friends have a way of persisting over years and miles. For Robert Owens (’85) from Loop, Texas, Vance Reaves (’85) from Denton, Texas, Charlie Hernandez (’85) from Odessa, Texas, Jeff Key (’85) from San Antonio, Texas, and John Smith (’85) from Moore, Montana—who’ve called themselves “The Boys” for decades—the lifetime friendships have sustained each other through countless highs, lows, trials, and triumphs.
Ancient artifacts bring with them a mixture of wonder and weight, giving life and color to ancient words and stories that might otherwise simply be words on a page. A new permanent exhibit titled “The Story of God in Scripture and Stone,” housed in LCU’s Christian Development Center showcases an expansive collection of historical replicas and artifacts spanning millennia from before the time of Abraham to the time of Jesus and the early church.
The Rip Griffin Center has hosted elaborate dinners, concerts, camps, commencement ceremonies, and of course, countless athletic contests. But perhaps the most notable achievement among the storied programs that call this arena home is the 113-game winning streak it saw from the Lady Chap basketball team that spanned most of a decade—a record that leads all of NCAA Division I and II.
Five members of the LCU faculty and staff are entering into a new phase of life—retirement. They have each served the university with great dedication and sacrifice over their years at LCU, and they will certainly be missed.
Lubbock Christian University named Lake Ridge Chapel and Memorial Designers as the 2023 LCU Community Partner of the Year for their outstanding support of LCU and the greater Lubbock community. Additionally, SkyGardens has been named the Newcomer of the Year. The winners were announced at an appreciation luncheon hosted by Johnsonville and United Supermarkets.
A joint venture in 1999 between the Texas Department of Economic Development and Texas Tech University’s National Wind Institute (NWI) created the West Texas Mesonet (WTM), and almost a quarter century after installing the first weather monitoring site, NWI in conjunction with Lubbock Christian University (LCU) has station 150 up and running.
There is a new alumni site to share life updates such as moves, career changes, marriages and future Chap baby photos. Stay connected to LCU and fellow alumni by engaging in that site at www.lcualumni.com or login to the space below.