“This coin is most likely the first one they will receive, and probably the first one they have personally earned (as opposed to simply trading for or purchasing one). Many will likely go on to build a collection of similar coins during their careers, but I believe this one will always be special to them for these reasons,” said assistant criminal justice professor Lance Crowe, who was one of the officiants of BJU’s eighth Challenge Coin Ceremony.
Other officiants were Dr. Renae Wentworth, dean of the College of Arts and Science, and David Davis, assistant criminal justice professor. Chief Matt Hamby of the Greer Police Department delivered the challenge address. A special farewell video from former criminal justice faculty member Larry McKeithan who recently passed away was played to close the ceremony.
On May 6, graduating criminal justice students were awarded an embossed silver coin edged in gold. Having delayed their ceremony a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, four of the 23 members from the Class of 2020 received their coins in person alongside the 14 members of the 2021 graduating class.
In addition, the Allen Jacobs Memorial Award was presented to Savannah Seiber and Hannah Phillips Seibert for 2020 and to Stephen Cross and John Morrissey Jr. for 2021.
“The Bob Jones University criminal justice coin represents not only the finest ideals of the policing profession but also the Biblical heritage and scriptural principles that undergird a student’s journey with us,” Crowe said.
Dating to World Wars I and II, challenge coins were first used to identify downed airmen to Allied forces in France. Following the wars, challenge coins were used to identify members of the Office of Strategic Services (forerunner to the Central Intelligence Agency). The military adopted the concept, developing a coin for each branch to award for distinguished service. Law enforcement likewise followed the tradition.
Said Crowe: “It is our sincerest desire this coin will serve as a tangible reminder to our graduates of our congratulations and blessings as they graduated, and of those principles we hope will guide them as they join the challenging and rewarding field of criminal justice. …
“Mr. David Davis and I are sending the students off with our blessings, our prayers for their safety and our expectation they will make every decision based on Scripture and the high principles they have learned here at BJU.”