After months of renovation, the President’s Office reopened January 11 with a Christian leadership dedication service featuring special music, prayer, the ordinance of humility, and the unveiling of inspirational artwork. Guest speakers included Ron Smith, Southern Union president, Ed Wright, Georgia-Cumberland Conference president, and Ruth Liu, Board of Trustees member.
The event’s theme was centered on Matthew 20:26, “Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.” The verse is mounted on the walls at the entrance of the suite, alongside a commissioned piece of art that shows Jesus washing Peter’s feet.
During the dedication service, several additional works of art employees had chosen for the office were unveiled, all of which had a deeply spiritual context. Vinita Sauder, vice president for Strategic Initiatives, chose a Nathan Greene painting for her office; “At Jesus’ Feet” portrays Mary and Martha’s mixed responses when Jesus visited their home in the last days of His ministry.
“It helps me remember what is most important when making decisions for the future of Southern,” Sauder said.
The leadership dedication service was a blessing for students, as well as employees. President Bietz and his cabinet served six student leaders during a special foot washing ceremony designed to symbolize their heart for servant leadership. Adding to the solemn nature of that moment was the Emmanuel Quartet’s live, a cappella performance of “Can Jesus Be Seen In Me?”
“It was incredibly humbling being a part of something that is so special to the administrators,” said Student Association President Garrison Hayes. “It shows that they’re committed to including students in all aspects of this university.”
Just as the President’s Office was physically transformed for the better, it is the hope of university leaders that the new environment will remind them to daily rededicate their lives in Christ’s service to students, fellow employees, and the community.