Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) kicked off its yearlong sesquicentennial celebration with its 2017 Founders’ Day Convocation. The celebration was launched with the founder’s Day Convocation, held Jan. 24 at Emery Gymnasium.
Held annually as a day to honor the university’s founders and their legacies, students, faculty, staff, and alumni joined President Everett B. Ward, board of trustee members and campus leaders for an event replete with reflection, gratitude, and inspiration.
“The 150th anniversary of Saint Augustine’s University marks the beginning of a new era of leadership development and academic innovation for a new generation of scholars,” said President Ward. “Our mission to empower scholars continues to be as relevant and impacting today as it was at our founding in 1867.”
The keynote speaker for the Convocation was The Reverend Charles L. Fischer, III, rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church of Atlanta. In October 2016, St. Paul’s, the largest primarily African American parish in the United States, contributed $30,000 to the university’s Absalom Jones Tuition Grant.
“When you have one of the largest African American Episcopalian churches partnering with a flagship university like Saint Augustine’s University, together we can usher in in a new era of greatness,” said Rev. Fischer. In his powerful speech, the graduate of Morehouse College and the Virginia Theological Seminary connected the transformational work of Jesus Christ to the university’s motto “Veritas vos liberabit” (The truth will set you free).
An especially poignant moment of the event included a soul-stirring rendition of “For Every Mountain,” led masterfully by Natalie Bullock-Brown, an assistant professor of media and film, and backed by the Saint Augustine’s University Choir (under the direction of SAU’s Director of Choral Activities Kimberly E. Dunn) and the Saint Augustine’s University Chamber Winds (under SAU Director of Bands Al Davis).
Saint Augustine’s University was founded in 1867 by the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina to educate freed slaves. Monthly events have been planned to commemorate the university’s yearlong celebration of its sesquicentennial.
— Office of Marketing and Communications