Charter Day speaker urges University to have trust, faith

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Waynesburg University celebrated its 163rd year and the 162nd anniversary of its charter by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Tuesday, March 20. For the first time, the celebration was held in Roberts Chapel, which was formally dedicated September 24, 2011, on the campus of Waynesburg University.

As the Chapel stands as a symbol of God's grace that has guided the University for more than 160 years, this historic event marked the realization of a dream of many: the University and local community joining together to celebrate the University's charter and many accomplishments on University grounds.

“Charter Day is a time to reflect upon the University community of which I am so proud,” said Waynesburg University President Timothy R. Thyreen. “The profound impact our students have on the world is a direct result of our commitment to faith, learning and serving, and we are elated to celebrate 163 years of inspiring every undergraduate and graduate student to a life of leadership and purpose.”

Introduced by Thyreen, The Rev. Dr. M. Craig Barnes, senior pastor of the Shadyside Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh, served as the Charter Day speaker.

During Barnes' Charter Day Convocation Address, “Remembering to Move Ahead,” he noted that God expects the University to have paid attention during the journey to the present and to have trust and faith at all times.

“Don't assume God will part the waters for Waynesburg University's journey,” Barnes said. “Faith will get you through the water, and God will make the way.”

While celebrating 162 years of God's faith in the University, like a child on a swing, we must lean back into our traditions and kick ahead, moving higher and higher, he continued.

“The story of this University and God's kingdom is far from over,” Barnes said. “You have to remember that God has been with you as you move forward.”

Barnes was ordained a Minister of Word and Sacrament by the Presbyterian Church in 1981 and served nine years as a senior pastor of The National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., before joining the Pittsburgh Seminary in 2002. 

Barnes is the author of numerous articles and is in demand as a preacher and lecturer at churches, denominational events and seminaries. His published books include “Searching for Home,” which was awarded the Book of the Year Award by Christianity Today.

In addition to Barnes' address, Charter Day included a formal procession of faculty and recognition of the 52 students chosen for the 2012 Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges directory.

The students were selected by the Waynesburg University nominating committee comprised of University officials including deans, faculty members and department chairs. The criteria for the nomination of students given to the selection committee by Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges included choosing students who “enhance the positive image of American youth through their contributions to community and school.”