Academic and Christian discovery

Fri, 2010-09-17 15:35 -- univcomm
September 17, 2010

by Dr. James L. Edwards, Anderson University president

Some of the best news of the year came to our campus when Bill Polian, president of the Indianapolis Colts, announced that the premier NFL franchise would return to Anderson University for their summer camp Aug. 1-18.

We hosted the Colts for their first 15 years in Indianapolis before they moved the camp to Terre Haute. Only one member of the team, now a powerhouse with regular playoff wins, divisional championships, and a Super Bowl win, was at the last Anderson camp: the league’s most valuable player, quarterback Peyton Manning.

This good news comes to a region looking for reasons to celebrate as we climb out of the severe recession that has had a grip on this former automotive manufacturing town. Our friends in the business community hope a return of a national spotlight with the Colts will mean other commercial interests and resources for quality of life will also be on the rise.

The best questions at the news conference were directed to the Colts president about the reasons Anderson University became a good choice for his team. He commented on the many improvements that have been made to the campus, including the beautiful Kardatzke Wellness Center, renovated residence halls, improved fields, artificial turf and lights in the stadium, and other campus amenities. Across this decade alone, we have invested more than $55 million in capital improvements to enhance the educational experience of our students. Polian said in his world that would fund one player, hopefully a good one.

Over the last 12 years, the Colts have gotten much better, and in many ways, so have we. Today all of us in higher education face challenging issues that go to the very heart of our mission. Quality education is being redefined and competition is not only down the street but across the internet. Anderson University must be seen as a distinctive Christian university with strengths that are literally outstanding. Excellence is expected along with affordability.

We offer life-changing experiences that develop students for distinguished careers and meaningful lives of service. We want our students to understand the values on which our educational vision is based and see it lived out in the way we make decisions related to all our programs, including the way we show hospitality to a National Football League team. Excellence, integrity, responsibility, servant leadership, and generosity are the core values that distinguish this community. We pursue an education where free and open inquiry is valued and all questions are considered. We want to bring wisdom of accomplished and exemplary leaders to the learning experience. Mostly, we want our students to find resources for a confident journey that includes academic excellence and a faith to build on for life. To accomplish all of this and more, constant improvement is essential.

I embrace the future with the special pleasures of seeing meaningful change daily in the lives of our students, within our faculty and staff, and across the campus. And I am proud to say that the new Anderson University, summer home for the Colts, is a great place to grow a lifetime of promise in the most important game of all: life.

Voices from the Valley is a venue for members of the Anderson University community to share unique perspectives on topics for which they are qualified to speak. For more information, contact the Office of University Communications.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.