Great appreciation shown to CIU scholarship donors

Great appreciation shown to CIU scholarship donors

CIU students line up at the microphones to thank their donors at a donor appreciation lunch.
Aubrey Crawford thanks CIU scholarship donors for making her education possible.

Aubrey Crawford thanks CIU scholarship donors for making her education possible. (Photos by Kierston Smith)

By Bob Holmes

She just started her college career, but freshman Aubrey Crawford has some big dreams. The Digital Media and Cinema major from Florence, South Carolina wants to hone the videography skills she first learned in high school so she can “capture the stories of missionaries and their work and share it with the world.”

At a recent CIU Donor Luncheon, Crawford had the privilege of sitting across from a couple who are helping to make her dreams a reality. She met Peter and Molly Bain who are providing scholarship funding toward her tuition, and they are impressed with the young student.

“She’s so sweet and she’s got real vision,” Mrs. Bain said of Crawford. “We certainly invested our money wisely,” she added with a joyful laugh.

“It’s certainly worth it to invest in the Kingdom more so than anything else,” Mr. Bain noted.   

The annual luncheon, was back on schedule for 2021, after being cancelled last year because of COVID concerns. Dozens of students stepped up to a microphone to introduce themselves and offer a personal thank you to donors in attendance, and others who were watching via livestream.

“It is so cool,” Crawford said of meeting the Bains. “I’m really grateful to have this opportunity to meet them and see the people who have brought me here.”

Prior to the luncheon, the donors sat among the student body at a Chapel service featuring CIU’s 2021 Alumnus of the Year, Chaplain (Col.) Larry Dabeck (’89,’98) who serves as command chaplain at U.S. Army South in San Antonio, Texas. He formerly served as deputy joint staff chaplain, the number two chaplain for the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon.

Dabeck said that while at CIU for 14 years, both as a student, and as a staff member, he more clearly recognized the difference between who he is in Christ, and his eventual calling to military chaplaincy. He spoke from Ephesians 4:1

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called …

“Identity (in Christ) is who you are,” Dabeck said. “Calling is what you think. It flows out of that identity, flows out of that center … Whatever that calling is today, let’s walk worthy.”

Hear Dabeck’s entire message on CIU’s podcast archives.

With record enrollment in 2020, CIU consistently ranks among the Top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report, as well as a Best Value Regional University in the SouthRequest information on enrollment at CIU and Columbia Biblical Seminary at (800) 777-2227, ext. 5024 or