President's Convocation
On Aug. 31 BC students gathered for President's Convocation.

President's Convocation

By Emily Sears | September 26, 2011 | RSS

Going to President’s Convocation is as much of a tradition at Bluefield College as Mud Pig Day…except with much less mess.


BC’s annual President’s Convocation on Aug. 31 started the ’11-’12 academic year.  As Dr. David Olive said, it also started a new year for growth academically and spiritually.


“This year you will find challenges whether it is on the court or the stage,” said Olive, BC’s president. “But consider these challenges opportunities for growth.”


Olive also stated the core values of BC which include academic excellence, service above self, care, respect, encouragement, and Christ-centeredness.


Julie Johnson, chair of BC’s trustees, shared her excitement about the new changes at BC. She said she was thrilled to welcome the football team, the nursing program, and the new cafeteria.

Dr. Paul Corts gives the address at the President's Convo


“God is richly blessing BC,” said Johnson. “Never has the campus looked so beautiful.”


Johnson also welcomed the freshman class, telling them that they were now part of the Board of Trustees’ extended family. She ended by challenging all students to explore and search for life’s passion during their time at BC by soaking up all of the knowledge available to them. Also, she asked them to make a decision this year to live a Christ-centered life.


Faculty president Mimi Merritt gave the freshman class a homework assignment to figure out what it means to be a good person.


“Maybe it will take four years to figure it out,” said Merritt. “Or maybe a lifetime. Open your hearts and minds to learning as much as possible to make this world a better place.”   


Dan Agee, president of the Alumni Association, brought a lighter side to President’s Convocation by reminding freshmen to have a lot of fun during their college years. He also encouraged them to look at the next four years as ones filled with hope, excitement, and possibilities.


Student Government Association president Bethany Liddle told the freshman class that it was her goal to personally know each of them. She also read Romans 8:8: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”


Dr. Robert Shippey, vice president for academic affairs, introduced four new faculty: Kevin Downer, professor or exercise and sport science; Dr. Carolyn Lewis, professor and chair of nursing; Dr. Martin Offield, associate professor of biology, and Dr. Irene Rieger, assistant professor of English. He encouraged all BC students to introduce themselves to the new faculty and get to know them on a personal level.


Sarah Beamer, vice president for finance and administration, asked students and staff to provide feedback to let her offices know how they were doing throughout the year. She also said she hoped that each person would find the staff of BC “caring, compassionate, and helpful.”


Also contributing to the honorable ceremony was a performance by Variations and a scripture reading by student career advocate Jennifer Bohannan.


The convocation address was given by Dr. Paul Corts, president of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities. Corts spoke about how BC could transform lives by combining faith with studies, as long as students take advantage of all of the academic opportunities provided.


“Bluefield College can mold you,” said Corts. “But only if you are pliable. Bluefield will help you to be more like Christ.”


He spoke of the major commitment our college has made to global studies through opportunities in China and Thailand, and he encouraged every student to log on to for more study abroad programs. 


Dr. Shippey read the new honor code aloud to the audience and asked all freshmen to sign a commitment to the code in order to uphold honor in all things and to themselves. Walter Shroyer, professor of art, closed the ceremony with prayer.


Following the convocation was the first annual President’s picnic where all faculty, staff, and students were invited to a picnic lunch on the quad. A tent was set up along with chairs and tables. Valley Food Services served a barbecue lunch.