I’ve tried many times to encapsulate into one word the intense feelings that have oftentimes overwhelmed me while being here at Southern Virginia, but much like trying to describe how the Spirit feels, I just can’t get it right. So I asked you, my fellow classmates. The responses were mixed as everyone’s experience here is unique to them, and like any man-made thing, Southern Virginia isn’t perfect … yet. However, prevailing amongst the comments were warm words reflecting a very special relationship between students and university, words and phrases such as: amazing, superb, love, scrumptious, beautiful, opportunistic, astounding, growth-promoting, friendly, accepting, reinvigorating, a safe learning environment, wonderful people, amazing professors, greater than you can ever imagine, rich with service, the bee’s knees, family and, finally, home.
Southern Virginia University has been our home for the last few years. Buena Vista is the first place many of us have chosen to call home, and just like the first time we left the nest, leaving the safety of this hallowed place will be hard. Home is a place where we learn and grow, where we discover who we truly are. The places we call home have an intricate impact in our lives. Though we have all felt — at some point or another — the struggle of weighty classes and the pressure to do our best, we have been nourished by the fountains of knowledge, leadership, accountability, scholarship, discipleship and enthusiasm under the hands of some of the kindest and wisest mentors we will ever have the privilege of working with. All of these things have worked together for our good, have helped us discover who we are, and have transformed us into better versions of ourselves. Southern Virginia University and all of the people and experiences accompanying our years here is forever a part of a fire that has refined us and will forever be a part of us.
From the windows of Enderly Heights Elementary school, on the other side of town, where I have spent half of my Southern Virginia University career mentoring young minds, I can see the bold red face of our beloved Main Hall. When I have faced challenges with my students, I have looked out of those windows to what has now become a symbol of hope, courage, and preparedness, a part of my identity. The towering spirals remind me how my unique education here has prepared me to stand firm and tall in the face of adversity. The boldness of the iconic red inspires me to go forth with firm conviction and boldness in purpose and passion, while the beauty of the building as a whole gently confirms that I am and always will be a Knight, and I am going to be successful in whatever life throws at me, because I will always have Southern Virginia University. We will always have Southern Virginia University.
With faces now focused on the future, we leave this place of growth to be transformed elsewhere. We leave Main Hall, we leave our dedicated professors, beloved friends, the Shenandoah Valley, and so much more. But the memories, the education and the experiences will be an anchor, and Southern Virginia University an emblem seared into our hearts forever. How will you let that emblem shine in the workplace, the world, the community, the church and finally, in your new home? Seniors, never forget Southern Virginia University; never forget home.
(Post by Deseret Brown ’16.)