World renowned Seventh-day Adventist artist Nathan Greene recently completed the 2010 class gift and unveiled his large painting in Ackerman Auditorium during the Alumni Homecoming Weekend in October.
The work portrays the mission of Christian education -- to train students spiritually -- and depicts Jesus leading young people from a variety of majors into a life of ministry.
“I think the class of 2010 wanted to leave a message of encouragement to students who are just starting out with their careers,” Greene said.
The idea to commission the painting began when Elise Harboldt was elected by her fellow students as their class gift campaign manager. Elise was familiar with Greene’s artwork and felt inspired to pitch the idea to the other class officers who readily agreed. They faced a big challenge to raise the needed funds in the short time before Commencement, but everything came together in the end. During Homecoming weekend Elise flew to campus from California for the unveiling and thanked everyone who made the painting a reality.
Patrice Hieb, Advancement’s annual giving officer, supported the 2010 class throughout its fundraising campaign. She said contributors included members of the 2010 class, friends and families of students, community members, and alumni.
“[The campaign] was successful because it was started by students, and Elise really poured her heart into it,” Hieb said.
Elise wasn't the only student previously familiar with Greene's work. Keishauni George, senior theology major, first met Greene in April when he came to Southern to use current students as models for the Southern painting. But by then she already felt a certain kinship.
“When I gave my life to God there was a painting by Nathan Greene [in the church] and I remember seeing his works in lesson books as a child,” Keishauni said. “To actually meet him was awesome!”
The painting is set to hang in the lobby of Wright Hall.