News: CCU Dedicates the Anschutz Student Center

Anschutz Student Center rendering

CCU Dedicates the Anschutz Student Center

On Thursday, August 24, the Colorado Christian University community — including university leadership, the board of trustees, incoming students, families, alumni, faculty, and staff — gathered with community leaders and representatives from The Anschutz Foundation to welcome students into the Anschutz Student Center. The celebration attracted over 2,000 people to the CCU Lakewood campus.

The completion of the Anschutz Student Center is a monumental milestone in the campus redevelopment campaign spearheaded in 2012 by former CCU president, the late Bill Armstrong. Jim McCormick, CCU’s vice president of Enrollment and Student life, opened the dedication ceremony by acknowledging Armstrong’s vision for CCU’s Lakewood campus. Bill Armstrong’s wife, Ellen, and several other immediate family members were present at the dedication.

As CCU approaches its 103rd academic year and eighth year of record student enrollment, current CCU president, Dr. Donald W. Sweeting, spoke of his gratefulness for all those who invested financially and were involved in the planning and construction of the student center. Almost 12,000 donors and 17,000 gifts contributed to the completion of the student center.

“The Anschutz Student center will not just be a hub for gathering, it will be a place for great conversation — where great ideas are discussed,” said Dr. Sweeting. “It will be a setting for discipleship where students will be trained leaders who love what is good and make a contribution in every honorable vocation.”

Shannon Dreyfuss, CCU’s vice president of campus development shared that after the design phase and construction phase, the student center is now moving into the occupancy and patina phase. He went on to explain that the patina phase is the process of something new becoming worn and antiqued. With a playful smile, Dreyfuss continued, “That’s our students’ job.” He concluded by echoing the words of Bill Armstrong “Great buildings don’t make a great university,” and with his own twist added, “but it’s really going to help us.”

The pinnacle of the afternoon’s celebration came to light when Kalyn Mizelle, a student from CCU’s student government organization, delivered an eloquent masterpiece that captured the minds and hearts of the entire audience.

She began with a striking interpretation of an often overlooked passage in the Bible, found in Genesis 21:33. Taking a hermeneutic approach to the passage, Mizelle shared that the tamarisk tree carries significant meaning because the tree itself takes years to fully mature. “The tamarisk tree must be nurtured for a long time by the planters of the tree, as well as those who come after them. Planting this kind of tree means growing it for generations to come.” Mizelle added, “Those who plant the tamarisk tree plant it for a purpose, an end result that they most likely would never live to see.”

Mizelle drew a powerful parallel between planting a tamarisk tree and the construction of the student center. “We plant trees to remember where the Lord has moved. The student center is a reminder for us to remember the generations before us at CCU who invested in a seed.” Said Mizelle, “It will be a reminder for future generations that the Lord fulfills his promises in ways greater than we could ever dream ourselves.”

Ted Harms, the executive director of The Anschutz foundation agreed with Mizelle’s sentiments and shared that because of CCU’s Christian values and principles, investing in the student center was a “no brainer.”

Other speakers for the dedication included the Honorable Adam Paul, Mayor of the city of Lakewood; Kirt Ingram, the division president for from Sodexo Food Services; and John Vargas, CCU’s class of 2018 student body president.

After a prayer of dedication led by Gary Armstrong, CCU’s chairman of the board of trustees, and a whimsical snap of the scissors by Dr. Sweeting, the ribbon was cut and attendees joined in an acapella rendition of “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” lead by Steven Taylor, CCU’s dean of the School of Music.

The building dedication ceremony coincided with Weekend of Welcome 2017 (CCU’s new student orientation) and was followed by a community BBQ.