One of the things which you as a congregation are doing, for which I am deeply grateful, is
supporting my service on the Board of Trustees for Freed-Hardeman University, in Henderson,
TN. Freed-Hardeman is a fully-accredited institution of higher learning, affiliated with churches
of Christ. Our elders believe in the importance of staying well informed about the work of this
school, and holding it true to its mission to glorify God, and teach young people how to live godly
lives, as well as how to make a living. The Board meets four times each year, and I have now
served for over four years.
The February Board meeting usually occurs on the Friday immediately preceding the annual
Bible lectureship. This year, that meeting occurred on February 3. President David Shannon,
reported that FHU has achieved another record enrollment this spring, currently 2,123 students.
This number includes both undergraduate and graduate, in-person and online. Another
remarkable statistic is a 94% retention rate from the fall semester. At a time when the enrollment
numbers at most universities are decreasing, these numbers are truly reasons to be thankful. Also,
applications for next year are up year-to-date.
Among the exciting things now happening at FHU is the implementation of a new,
comprehensive system of automation, known as Enterprise Resource Planning (“ERP”). This will
affect and improve practically every aspect of the university, including admission and academic
records, financial resources and records, student and alumni resources.
The winter break included for student travel experiences, each accomplished with a Christian
emphasis. A free community speech clinic has been established, under the direction of Dr. Megan
Spencer, and has already seen 100 clients in Henderson. The music department is hosting, live
performances by known artists, making a further impact upon the surrounding community.
The FHU-Next Capital Campaign has now achieved a balance of $116,795,189, which is an
increase of $4.5 million since our last meeting. Approximately $11.6 million is needed in order
to complete the Campaign. The November 10th Day of Giving featured 928 individual gifts, with
$224,231 raised in a single day. We Kurt Warner Benefit Dinner alone raised $1,684,000, the
second best ever. Amazing renovations to Loyd Auditorium are to be completed by the end of
this calendar year.
In athletics, the Lady Lions softball team is now ranked fifth in the nation, and 14 out of the
15 school teams are designated “scholar teams,” with all team members having a 3.0 GPA or
As to Bible teaching, the faculty is strong. Dr. Justin Rogers has officially been appointed
Dean of the College of the Bible. Required Bible class for all students, as well as mandatory
chapel attendance are still features of life at Fred-Hardeman. The annual Bible lectureship
continues to be well received and very influential.
If you have never attended the annual Freed-Hardeman Bible Lectureship, you should
make plans to do so. This special event, one of the largest Bible lectureships in our brotherhood,
is conducted each year during the first full week of February. The lectureship features a multitude
of presentations and other resources, and currently reaches about 5,000 participants per day, both
in-person and online.
This year the lectureship emphasized the theme of restoration, from the books of Ezra,
Nehemiah and Esther. The scheduled study next year is the book of Revelation, (Feb. 4-8, 2024).
A new, planned Hampton Inn should make accommodations in Henderson much easier, but there
are plenty of motels available in nearby Jackson.
Marvina and I were thankful to attend the singing on Sunday evening, as well as the opening
lecture by President David Shannon. I have given copies of the full program to our elders, and
made additional copies available in the foyer for anyone interested. Please let me know if I can
answer any further questions you may have!
– by Robert C. Veil, Jr.