President’s Newsletter – April 2024

Student Center, BJU, Greenville, SC, March 7, 2024. (Derek Eckenroth)

This newsletter from Bob Jones University’s Acting CEO Alan Benson is intended to inform BJU’s alumni and friends of student and faculty achievements and campus programs and activities. Communication regarding this newsletter may be addressed to [email protected].

Message from Alan Benson, Acting CEO

Acting CEO Alan Benson

As I have led Bob Jones University over the past year, one of my greatest joys has been investing in the spiritual lives of our students and witnessing the impact our faculty and staff have on a daily basis as they mentor individual students in spiritual as well as academic matters.

Chapel remains one of our major vehicles for teaching the Word of God and promoting and encouraging student spiritual growth. In a typical week, we meet for chapel for three days and devote one day to small student-led discipleship groups and another to student society meetings.

Our founder, Dr. Bob Jones Sr., always admonished those who followed him to “keep the chapel platform hot.” I have tried to do that, preaching at least one day a week and, on other chapel days, using faculty and staff who understand both our students and what we are trying to accomplish with our total chapel program.

I have found it helpful to the students to continue semester chapel themes on the days I preach. First semester, we considered “Nehemiah: Life on Mission,” and this semester, “Learning the Mind of Christ,” based on Paul’s letter to the Philippians. Using a 10-week or more series affords the opportunity to put Scripture in context and go in depth on key messages. It also lets students know what to expect when they come to chapel so they can prepare to receive the message. Students further discuss the themed messages in one of their discipleship groups during the week.

Singing in chapel this semester has been tremendous — the students have thrilled my soul chapel after chapel as they have sung with feeling and enthusiasm. From my days as a pastor, I know that joyful, enthusiastic singing is a sign of happy hearts and right spirits.

As we approach the end of our 97th year on May 3, I thank God our chapel program has remained true to the Word of God and relevant to changing generations of students all these years. I ask you to pray with me for our students as they go home for the summer that they will recall what they have heard — that they will persevere in the faith as Nehemiah and, as Paul, seek to display a life balanced by God’s perspective.

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BJU to Hold 97th Commencement

Commencement 2023

Bob Jones University will celebrate its 97th Commencement on Friday, May 3, 2024, at 2 p.m. in Founder’s Memorial Amphitorium on the university campus. The University will award 58 associate degrees, 523 bachelor’s degrees, 97 master’s degrees and five doctorates.

The annual Awards Ceremony will be the day before, Thursday, May 2, at 11:15 a.m. Individual students will be honored with personal awards and awards by school as well as awards presented for society and association achievements. Faculty and staff with 10, 20, 25, 30, 40 and 50 years of service will be recognized.

The Nurses Pinning Ceremony takes place at 2 p.m. in Rodeheaver Auditorium, honoring 43 seniors who will graduate with a BSN degree. Members of this class have had a significant impact on many areas of the BJU experience over the last four years as student ambassadors, residence hall leaders and in fine arts productions. Dr. Marc Chetta of the School of Health Professions will address the graduates.

The Criminal Justice Challenge Coin Ceremony is scheduled for 4 p.m. Thursday, when coins will be presented to each graduating criminal justice major.

Thursday evening at 7 p.m. is the Baccalaureate and Legacy Ceremony. During the ceremony, parents will present legacy medallions to second, third and fourth-generation legacy students, and first-generation BJU graduates and first-generation college graduates will receive cords — both of which will be worn the next day with their academic regalia.

At the request of the students, Dr. Alan Benson will preach the Baccalaureate service.

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BJU Students Excel at IEEE SoutheastCon 2024

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) SoutheastCon 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia

Bob Jones University students successfully competed in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) SoutheastCon 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia, March 20–24. SoutheastCon hosts competitors from colleges and universities in 10 states and the country of Jamaica.

Competition categories included circuit design, ethics, hardware design networking, outreach, presentation, promotional design and software.

The BJU team designed and built an autonomous robot able to navigate a specified track and perform tasks. They tied for third place with Virginia Tech in the robotics and design category. Over 50 teams competed, including Florida State University, High Point University, Mississippi State University, University of North Carolina at Asheville and University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

BJU’s team was comprised of Sean Allen, senior engineering major from Pleasant Garden, North Carolina; Josiah Bowman, senior engineering major from Jefferson, Georgia; Micah Guay, senior engineering major from Cedar Hill, Texas; Garrett Jones, senior computer science major from Rockwall, Texas; and Marcus Moffitt, senior engineering major from Greenville, South Carolina.

“The team’s design, especially the unique wheel design, was a total crowd pleaser,” said James Collins, assistant professor of engineering and robotics team coach. “The crowd at the competition was impressed by the creativity our team showed.”

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BJU Students Receive American Advertising Awards

Kyle Marks, junior from Taylors, South Carolina; Lauren McCaffery, senior from Flower Mound, Texas; and Alexander Rouse, junior from Greenville, South Carolina
Kyle Marks, Lauren McCaffery and Alexander Rouse

The American Advertising Federation Greenville Chapter presented three BJU graphic design students the silver award for integrated brand campaigns at the organization’s annual AAF Gala on Saturday, March 9: Kyle Marks, junior from Taylors, South Carolina; Lauren McCaffery, senior from Flower Mound, Texas; and Alexander Rouse, senior from Greenville, South Carolina.

The American Advertising Awards, a three-tiered national competition conducted annually by the American Advertising Federation, is the industry’s largest and most representative competition for both professional and student creative excellence.

“It’s encouraging to see our students gaining recognition by industry professionals year after year. Their hard work and high standards are key to their success,” said Jay Bopp, a faculty member in the Division of Art + Design. “Participating in the American Advertising Awards has proven to be a powerful networking tool for our students.”

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Students Awarded Global Seal of Biliteracy

Twenty-six BJU students recently were awarded the prestigious Global Seal of Biliteracy, an international language certificate that recognizes and celebrates a level of proficiency in two or more languages.

The Global Seal of Biliteracy is a passport to opportunity, allowing recipients to showcase their language skills to any school or employer across state lines and international borders. It is awarded in over 100 languages and in 30 countries. In today’s global economy, proficiency in multiple languages has tremendous value, and employers want candidates whose skills are verifiable and comparable.

This year’s Global Seal of Biliteracy recipients include the following:

Chinese: Armando Morales, Simpsonville, South Carolina; and Katelynn Cai, Greenville, South Carolina.

French: Connor Ahrens, Easley, South Carolina; Robert Daulton, Greenville, South Carolina; Michala Hernan, Davie, Florida; Ashton Horn, Easley, South Carolina; and Jonathan Walters, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

German: Emily Fernett, Lebanon, Pennsylvania; Bailey Holtz, Greenville, South Carolina; and Julia Probus, Independence, Missouri.

Spanish: Ronald Burget, Greenville, South Carolina; Melodie Campos, Belleville, Illinois; Aya Cathey, Yona, Guam; Johanna Clark, Windsor, Connecticut; Cheri Escalante, Anderson, Indiana; Joanna Gentry, Cheraw, South Carolina; Megan Hall, Greer, South Carolina; Anna Huttar, Travelers Rest, South Carolina; Joanna Huttar, Travelers Rest, South Carolina; Marc Johnson, Pensacola, Florida; Joshua Landry, Manchester, New Hampshire; Abigail McKee, Canton, Georgia; Katie Menking, Simpsonville, South Carolina; Ashlyn Moritz, Westfield, Indiana; Tabitha Rivera, Ruskin, Florida; and Iana Silva, Taylors, South Carolina.

“Our students have worked hard to develop their language skills, and we are thrilled to see their efforts recognized with the Global Seal of Biliteracy,” said Dr. Jeremy Patterson, associate professor and chair of the Division of World Languages & Cultures at BJU. “This certification not only celebrates their accomplishments but also opens doors for them in academia and the global job market. We are proud of our students and the role that BJU has in empowering globally in-demand Christ-centered learners and leaders.”

For more information about the Global Seal of Biliteracy, visit

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Students Win iNRB 24-hour Film Competition

iNRB 24-hour Film Competition

BJU Film & Digital Storytelling students competed against multiple universities at the 2024 Intercollegiate National Religious Broadcasters (iNRB) convention in Nashville, Tennessee, from Feb. 19-21. This is the tenth time BJU students have entered the competition, and they have won awards in the film category each year.

Students attending the convention included Enoch Albert, a freshman from Taylors, South Carolina; Nathan Barnes Velez, junior and Andrew Barnes, junior, both from Greenville, South Carolina; Deborah Bjur, freshman from Greer, South Carolina; Claire Gotcher, sophomore from Castle Rock, Colorado; Emilee Johnson, senior from Cincinnati, Ohio; Jireh Volmar, junior from Spartanburg, South Carolina and Megan Winnberg, junior from Southgate, Michigan. All are majoring in Film and Digital Storytelling.

NRB presents awards to undergraduate or graduate student iNRB members for outstanding examples of radio, television and film productions. Teams from BJU placed first and third in the iNRB 24-hour Film Challenge. Enoch Albert, Andrew Barnes, Nathan Barnes-Velez and Jireh Volmar won first place with their film “Surrender.” Debbie Bjur, Claire Gotcher, Emilee Johnson and Megan Winnberg placed third with “Connection Lost.” Each member of the winning teams received a certificate. The first-place team will receive an award engraved with the students’ names.

Roy Rogers, a 2023 Film & Digital Storytelling grad, was awarded the International Christian Visual Media first-place Crown Award for his senior capstone film, “What I Remember.”

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BJU Participates in Spring Session of South Carolina Student Legislature

Several members of the Bob Jones University delegation to the South Carolina Student Legislature (SCSL) were recognized with individual awards during the spring session, April 3–5, in Columbia, South Carolina.

The BJU delegation was chaired by junior Camden Gearhart of Greenville and comprised of junior Abigail Bergmann from Greer, South Carolina; senior Gretchen Bradley from Greenville; freshman Anna Grace Chisom from Bedford, Virginia; sophomore Hope Combest from Clarkson, Michigan; freshman Josiah Gearhart from Greenville; sophomore Dillon Harris from Lexington, South Carolina; junior Kate Huffstutler from Tallmadge, Ohio; sophomore Hudson Knight from Clayton, North Carolina; senior AnnaGrace Leszkowicz from Findlay, Ohio; and freshman Chandler Mabe from Rural Hall, South Carolina.

They competed against delegations from, Charleston Southern University, Clemson University, Coastal Carolina University, Francis Marion University, Presbyterian College and the University of South Carolina.

During the session, several members of the delegation were honored by their peers with individual awards or distinctions. While no group awards are given in the spring session, Camden Gearhart was named best overall delegate. The best written brief was drafted by Chandler Mabe. Kate Huffstutler was recognized for delivering the best oral argument.

“I am enormously proud of our delegation’s work this session. Each of our bills passed, and our delegation even pulled off an advanced procedural move to prevent the passage of unfavorable legislation,” said Camden Gearheart, BJU delegation chair. “Our delegation members strove to represent God and the University well by conducting ourselves with excellence, professionalism and integrity.”

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Biblical Worldview Conference to Deal with Transgenderism

BJU’s Center for Biblical Worldview will host its first Biblical Worldview Conference May 8–10 in the Davis Room on the BJU campus. The theme is Living in a Trans World: A Biblical Response for Educators and Ministers. Conference sessions will cover issues like why educators and ministers should engage in the gender debate, how our country got to the point of obsession with transgender ideology, what the law says about this movement, how gender affirmation has affected the classroom, the scientific and medical aspects of this debate, and how these issues affect the church at large and biblical counseling specifically.

The Biblical Worldview Conference is free and open to the public. It begins with a kick-off event on Wednesday, May 8, at 2 p.m. and continues with sessions on Thursday and Friday. Visit the conference registration page for more details.

Conference speakers include Renton Rathbun, director of the Center for Biblical Worldview; Jennifer Miller, faculty, Division of Communication; Carl Abrams, retired faculty, Division of History, Government and Social Science; Scott Buhr, chair, Division of Teacher Education; Timothy Tittiris, faculty, Division of Natural Science; Andrew Garland, faculty, Division of Health Sciences; and Billy Gotcher and Stuart Scott, both faculty at BJU Seminary.

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Students Attend Naval Academy’s Student Affairs Conference

Anna Peterson, senior graphic design major from Atlanta, Georgia, and Daniel Bell, senior actuarial science major and grad student, from Greenville, South Carolina
Anna Peterson and Daniel Bell

From April 8–11, two students — Anna Peterson, senior graphic design major from Atlanta, Georgia, and Daniel Bell, senior actuarial science major and grad student from Greenville, South Carolina — attended the 64th Annual Foreign Affairs Conference at the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. They were accompanied by Dr. Kevin Oberlin, dean of the School of Theology and Global Leadership, who has broad cross-cultural experience.

The conference brings together, by invitation, 150 undergraduates from military colleges and other universities around the world. This year’s theme was Where Power Lies: The Development of Civil-Military Relations in a New World Order.

During the week, our delegation heard speakers address the relationship between the military, government and society. Each participated in round table discussions on topics such as the rise of artificial intelligence in warfare and disinformation, relations with China, and the war between Russia and Ukraine. They also formed relationships with national and international civil and military delegates through social events.

BJU is honored to be invited repeated times to participate in this conference. It shows our students perform well and gives them a great platform to share conservative and biblically based viewpoints at this level.

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BJU to Offer New Academic Programs

BJU continually reviews its academic program offerings to ensure they meet market demands and prepare students for today’s ministry and employment opportunities. This fall, BJU will offer three new degree programs.

  • Public Accounting, BS. A complement to Accounting, BS, this program requires 150 credits and satisfies requirements by most state accounting boards for 30 credits beyond a standard bachelor’s degree to obtain a CPA license.
  • Theology and Apologetics, BA. This new program seeks to prepare students to serve God as teachers, pastors, evangelists or Christian workers for whom the defense and advancement of the Word of God are primary skills.
  • Master of Theology. This program represents about half of the requirements for a PhD and enables students to conduct advanced theological research.

BJU will also offer new undergraduate certificates that develop student skills that lead to careers and supplement the value of a student’s primary degree. These certificates include Writing & Publishing from the College of Arts & Science, Interpersonal Communication from the School of Fine Arts & Communication, and four from the School of Health Professions: Global Nutrition, Medical Missions, Vulnerable Populations and Coaching. The School of Health Professions will also offer a new graduate certificate in Sports Coaching.

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Brian Vogt Recognized for Excellence in Teaching

Brian Vogt Recognized for Excellence in Teaching

Brian Vogt, Division of Natural Science faculty, is BJU’s 2024 South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) Excellence in Teaching Award recipient. He was recognized, along with honorees from each of SCICU’s 21 member institutions, on April 9 in Columbia, South Carolina.

Vogt earned a BS in biology from BJU in 1979 and a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Florida in 1983. A member of the BJU faculty for over 40 years, he has taught a wide variety of lecture and laboratory classes on all levels of undergraduate chemistry.

He is particularly passionate about the key role laboratory experiences play in learning chemistry and has written laboratory manuals tailored specifically to the BJU general chemistry and organic chemistry courses. He also designed the laboratory curricula for physical chemistry and biochemistry.

In course evaluations, one student commented, “Dr. Vogt is absolutely fantastic! He’s clear in his explanations, intentional in his assignments and genuine in his care for his students.”

Vogt has been pivotal in acquiring, deploying, and maintaining some of the most significant instrumentation in the chemistry department laboratory, including BJU’s nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, infrared spectrometer, and atomic absorption spectrometer.

In nominating him, one colleague commented, “He has improved every aspect of our laboratory implementation for the students — in every chemistry class. He has acted as a mentor to me personally and perhaps most of the chemistry students who have passed through our doors.”

Vogt was selected by his colleagues due to his innovation, mentorship, excellence and reputation as an engaging master teacher. He has been one of the lead faculty members in the Summer Institute in Teaching Science, which is conducted on the BJU campus. He spent seven summers performing research in various contexts away from campus, including five summers working as a civilian for the U.S. Air Force. That work led to U.S. patent 5,652,810 “Fiber Optic Sensor for Site Monitoring,” which lists him as a co-inventor.

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BJU Pays Tribute to Andres Lopez

Andres Lopez

The university community was saddened earlier this semester when a freshman kinesiology major from Honduras, Jose Andres Lopez Bono, went to be with the Lord following cardiac arrest, and his passing was especially hard for BJU’s international student community. Andres was filled with joy and made friends wherever he went. He was especially close to his society brothers in Nu Delta Chi.

The youngest in his family, Andres was excited to be at BJU, following in his older brother’s footsteps. When his parents arrived in Greenville from Honduras following his death, the University devoted a portion of a chapel to a memorial service in his honor.

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BJU Presents Haydn’s The Creation

For the last Concert, Opera & Drama Series program this year, the BJU Symphony Orchestra and members of multiple choirs presented Joseph Haydn’s oratorio, The Creation, April 18–19.

Known as the “Father of the Symphony,” Haydn wrote The Creation, which depicts and celebrates the creation of the world, as described in Genesis, in 1797–98. The work is structured in three parts and scored for soprano, tenor and bass soloists, a chorus, and a symphonic orchestra. It was first performed in Vienna, Austria, in March 1799.

“This project was a huge collaborative effort with over 200 musicians representing more than 60 different academic programs, not just music majors,” said Dr. Michael Moore, BJU Division of Music chair and conductor of the performances. “It’s a great cross-section of our student body, which is a beautiful feature of our campus culture here at BJU. Exploring this 225-year-old masterpiece together as an academic and artistic community provided us a unique opportunity to consider what it means to be made, and make, in the image of our Maker.”

“I’m grateful to have worked with our Division of Music faculty soloists Dr. Megan Stapleton (soprano) and Dr. David Parker (bass), as well as guest soloist Joshua Wheeker (tenor),” said Moore. “Dr. Andrew Huish did a terrific job preparing the chorus, supported by our wonderful choral faculty and rehearsal pianists. And it was a joy to work with Dr. Daniel Overly (2012 graduate), pianist for the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, who was at the harpsichord for our performances.”

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Student Musicians Honored

Michael Adams, Micah Hyink, and Jonathan Um
Michael Adams, Micah Hyink, and Jonathan Um

In March, Michael Adams, a junior music major from Weare, New Hampshire, competed in the Mid-Atlantic National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition and placed first in his category. Michael advanced to the National NATS Competition in April. He is the student of Megan Stapleton. Michael has now submitted his performance for adjudication at the national level and will be notified of his results in May.

Micah Hyink, sophomore violin performance major from Carbondale, Illinois, was recently invited to perform in a master class with Greenville Symphony Orchestra soloist Simone Porter at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. Micah is a student of Dr. Brandon Ironside.

Jonathan Um, a freshman cello performance major from Streamwood, Illinois, was also invited to perform in a master class with Greenville Symphony Orchestra soloist Joshua Roman at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. Jonathan is a student of Dr. Yuriy Leonovich.

Dr. Michael Moore, chair of the Division of Music, has recently announced that this coming October, the BJU Chorale will join forces with other local collegiate choral programs in collaboration with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra to perform Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Dr. Andrew Huish, BJU’s director of Choral Activities, is the conductor of the Chorale.

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Senior Student Accepted into World Journalism Institute

Johanna Huebscher
Johanna Huebscher

Johanna Huebscher, a senior Multimedia Journalism major from San Diego, California, was accepted into the World Journalism Institute based in Asheville, North Carolina. This led to her receiving a paid internship and continuing freelance work at WORLD Magazine and opened the door for faculty members Nate Cary and Kathryn Gamet to be invited to the Faculty World Journalism Institute earlier this academic year.

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Students Present Conference Papers

Bella McDonald and Jewel Schuurmans
Bella McDonald and Jewel Schuurmans

In March, Bella McDonald, senior chemistry major from Clarksville, Georgia, presented a paper titled “N-(4-(2,4-dimethylphenyl)thiazol-2-yl)isonicotinamide via Hantzsch Thiazol Condensation” to the Chemistry and Biochemistry section of the South Carolina Academy of Science conference at The College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina. Bella earned first place in the undergraduate category.

Jewel Schuurmans, a graduate student in the Communications Studies program, presented a research paper titled “Land of the Free to Leave: How Personal American Identity Is Influenced by Expatriation” at the Carolinas Communication Association annual conference at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

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BJU Student Selected for 2024 College Student Congress

Junior Political Science major Abigail Bergmann from Greer, South Carolina
Abigail Bergmann

Junior Political Science major Abigail Bergmann from Greer, South Carolina, was selected to represent South Carolina at the 2024 College Student Congress, to be held for 10 days in May at the University of Kentucky in Lexington and American University in Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the Henry Clay Center, this Congress brings together a representative from each state plus Washington, D.C. — each a rising college senior — to study the dynamics of the policy process and to explore the challenges of formulating comprehensive public policy.

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BJU Study Abroad in Six Countries This Summer

Spanish Study Abroad students with David Bell: Nathan Abdo,Seth Johnson, Jonathan Art, Ciera (Katelyn) Miller, Marisol Torres,Ana Fraley, Ellie Myers, Elise Snow and Macy McArthur

BJU is offering eight Study Abroad courses in six countries this summer. These courses give students the opportunity to earn credit toward their degrees while experiencing the places and cultures they study in the classroom during the academic year. In most courses, students earn three credits, while a couple of longer courses offer six credits.

Courses are offered this year through the School of Fine Arts & Communication, the School of Business, the School of Health Professions and the College of Arts & Science. Sixty-nine students and 12 faculty/staff are participating. New this year are the Culinary Arts course and the German course in Austria, as well as the Church Music course visiting the United Kingdom.

The 2024 courses and faculty include:

  • Communication/English (UK), May 15–May 28, Paul Radford
  • Art + Design (Italy), May 15–May 30, Lewis Carl
  • Culinary Arts (Austria), May 15–May 31, Rob Hansen
  • French (France), May 15–June 11, Jeremy Patterson
  • Business (Ireland), May 20–June 5, Adele Dunn
  • Church Music (UK), May 30–June 12, Fred Coleman
  • Communication Disorders (Uganda), May 30–June 21, David Eoute Jr.
  • German (Austria), May 31–June 15, Brenda Hansen

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BJU Continues Emphasis on Experiential Learning

Physics EXP

BJU continues to develop experiential learning courses — EXPs — that offer students work-related experiences that help prepare them for the job market. By 2027, each graduating student will be required to have completed two of these courses to earn a bachelor’s degree and one for an associate degree.

Currently, BJU has 45 experiential learning courses, with the development of another 20 planned for this summer. In total, we will develop approximately 110 EXPs to enable all students to meet the two-course requirement.

Our current priorities are EXPs related to student teaching and ministry outreach. We are also focused on an apprentice EXP for work experience on campus.

This semester, 12 students are participating in a leadership EXP pilot program. They will not receive academic credit but have the opportunity to develop as leaders and provide valuable input to shape the official leadership EXP.

Starting Fall Semester 2024, the Servant Leadership EXP course for one credit will be open to all students filling a qualifying leadership position, such as serving on the Student Leadership Council or Inter-society Council executive committee, holding a major society office or serving as a resident assistant. Students in these leadership positions are not required to take the EXP, but they will be strongly encouraged to apply.

In addition to the Servant Leadership EXP, The Center for Leadership Development and the School of Theology and Global Leadership are making plans to create a three-credit foundational leadership course open to all students. It will include a philosophical overview of leadership theories and practical applications students can use to develop the biblical mindset and tactical skillset of a servant leader.

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The Collegian Wins State Awards

BJU’s student newspaper, The Collegian, was recognized by the South Carolina Press Association as the best student newspaper in South Carolina in the under 5,000 students category. The Collegian was noted for its quality of writing, photography and design, as well as a variety of feature stories.

The Collegian won a total of 12 awards at the Press Association’s spring meeting, spanning the timeframe from December 2022 through November 2023.

Daniel Matesevac from Taylors, South Carolina, and Tyler Scott from Pinehurst, North Carolina — both senior multimedia journalism majors — won first place for their arts and entertainment article, “Dr. Bob Jones III talks Wine of Morning” on the film’s rerelease.

Dray Dickey, a junior multimedia journalism major from Bronaugh, Missouri, won second place in the news story category for his article based on an interview with Acting CEO Alan Benson, “Dr. Alan Benson on leading Bob Jones University and the future.”

2023 Communication graduate Nathaniel Hendry from Anderson, South Carolina, placed second for his feature story “Class creates tech, nonprofit to fight global malnutrition.” He also won second place in the sports category for “Bruins beach volleyball team’s second season faces gritty start.”

Another second-place recognition went to 2023 Visual Studies major Arianna Rayder from Potters Corners, New York, for her page one design of the Christmas 2022 print issue.

Katelyn McKenney, junior Educational Studies major from Taylors, South Carolina, won third place in the sports photography category for her action shot during the annual Turkey Bowl soccer championship and third place for her photo story of the September 2023 Korea Children’s Choir performance.

Senior Business Administration major, Zachary Smith, and Nathaniel Hendry placed third for their news story “Mike Pence speaks about 2024 election, faith and civility at Bob Jones University.”

Zachary Edmondson was recognized with third place for his arts and entertainment story, “Living Gallery recreates artwork with human models that move and speak.”

The Collegian placed third for its editorial titled “A Christmas Massacre.”

The Collegian publishes primarily online, with several print issues each academic year. It can be accessed at

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BJU Hosts AACS National Competition

Donut You Know by Sophia Occhiuzzo and Self Reflection by Breleigh Rebert
Photography Award Winners Donut You Know by Sophia Occhiuzzo and Self Reflection by Breleigh Rebert

Bob Jones University hosted the Association of Christian Schools national competition on April 10 and 11. Representing 188 schools in 33 states, 1,800 students and 365 sponsors came to compete in 76 categories covering areas such as music, speech, art, science, Bible and other academic subjects.

Approximately 800 stayed in the BJU residence halls, and all were welcome to attend BJU activities, including classes, as their schedules allowed. On the busiest competition day, BJU canceled classes to enable faculty to judge the competitions and students to volunteer to help with logistics.

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Greenville City Council Visits Campus

Greenville City Council Visits Campus

When Alan Benson became Acting CEO last May, he met with several local officials, including the University’s representative on City Council, who suggested it would be helpful for the City Council members to visit campus for an update on the University’s latest activities.

BJU’s Public Relations Office arranged a visit on March 8 for 14 representatives of both City Council and the City Manager’s Office.

The visit began with a short address by Acting CEO Alan Benson; the multimedia presentation, which gives a fast-paced overview of the University; and a Q&A time.

The group then visited three campus locations, starting with the School of Health Professions, where they toured the Nursing Simulation Lab and the Human Performance Lab. The Simulation Lab is one of only two accredited nursing simulation labs in the state outside a hospital setting.

The group then visited Bob Jones Elementary School, where they were given a tour by the principal and Bob Jones Academy administrator. This was followed by a stop at the Printing Division of BJU Press, where they saw the two new presses, one of which is the HP T485 PageWide digital press, which can print, collate and bind an entire 700-page student textbook in less than 10 seconds. BJU Press is the largest manufacturer within the Greenville city limits.

The University is working closely with the City Council on the Council’s beautification project for Wade Hampton Boulevard from the University into downtown. We are working to ensure we maintain ease of access into the University’s main entrance and into Bob Jones Academy and BJU Press as well.

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Intercollegiate Sports Nearing End of Season

BJU Bruins BSB vs Toccoa Falls College
BJU Bruins BSB vs Toccoa Falls College

In the spring semester, BJU participates in three intercollegiate sports — baseball, track and field, and golf.

Baseball ends its season with three home games and then will compete in regionals in Columbia, South Carolina, May 6–9.

Track and field broke several school records this semester. Several Bruins athletes have qualified for nationals, also in Columbia May 8–10.

BJU’s golf team finished on a high note, defeating Columbia International University in the Competitor’s Cup — a Ryder Cup-style match in April.

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Upcoming Dates

  • May 2 — Annual Awards Ceremony
  • May 2 — Nurses Pinning Ceremony
  • May 2 — Baccalaureate and Legacy Ceremony
  • May 3 — Commencement
  • May 20 – June 7 — EDUcamp Jr.
  • June 3–6 — Bruins Sports Camp Jr.
  • June 10–July 26 — EDUcamp
  • June 10–August 1 — Bruins Sports Camp
  • June 21–22 — Summer Orientation

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