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Southern Virginia University

Posts with the tag: Speeches

  1. 2016 Elton Lecture: Art and the Core Values

    April 19, 2016


    Every year, a Southern Virginia professor receives the Michael and Kay Elton Lectureship for Outstanding Teaching and Scholarship, and every year the university has the privilege of hearing from the Elton Scholar. This semester, we heard from Barbara Crawford, professor of art.

    Professor Crawford came to Southern Virginia over 35 years ago. Throughout her time teaching here, she has become very well-acquainted with the university’s mission and core values. In her speech, she showed us how much we can learn of the core values through classic pieces of art.

    Michelangelo's_Pieta_5450_cropncleaned_editI found most touching her remarks on Michelangelo’s “Pieta.” She explained that “[the] artist has not focused on suffering and death, but the focus is on the serene expression on the face of Christ and a youthful Mary at peace” and examined the way the statue looks from an aerial view, pointing out the way the circling design unifies the mother and son from a Heavenly Father’s perspective.

    And though much more of consequence was said throughout her speech, as she considered each of the five core values (scholarship, discipleship, accountability, enthusiasm and refinement), it’s her comments on perspective and refinement that struck me most.

    “Don’t always look at things the same way,” she said. “Change your perspective. Look at things from a different point of view. Try someone else’s point of view, or refine your understanding of something by changing — refining  your point of view. Most often, students think refinement is going to a concert or a museum. It’s not the going to the concert or the museum that is refinement, but the results, the change that takes place in us because of that experience that is at the heart of understanding refinement. We can come away with a deeper understanding of ourselves and of our world.”

    (Post by Madeleine Gail Rex ’16. Photos by Sarah Foster ’19 and Stanislav Traykov. Video by Rex Winslow ’16.)

  2. Homecoming Devotional: Elder Rex D. Pinegar

    October 16, 2015

    This year’s homecoming devotional was given by Elder Rex D. Pinegar, an emeritus general authority and member of the seventy.  He discussed his experiences as a mission president here in Virginia and focused much of his thoughts on character. His many years of service and discipleship lent him a unique perspective on life, and he offered great counsel to us, including this gem:Print

    If you’re interested in listening to the devotional, it can be accessed via SoundCloud. Or, you can watch it below.

  3. Convocation 2015: “Festina Lente”

    September 13, 2015

    Convocation is an essential part of welcoming a new academic year. Earlier this month, we had the opportunity to hear from our provost, Dr. Madison U. Sowell, as he spoke about the importance and application of “festina lente,” a Latin phrase meaning “make haste slowly.” It was an enlightening and encouraging reminder for everyone at the beginning of a new and promising year. Following the address, the professors, decked out in their academic regalia, greeted students as they exited the Stoddard Center.

    (Post by Madeleine Gail Rex ’16. Photos by Jordan Wunderlich ’15 and Eva Sorensen ’17.)

  4. Orientation 2015: Day Three

    September 2, 2015

    Rise Up for Honor has become one of the most essential parts of new student orientation, a testimony to Southern Virginia’s focus on a positive learning environment and personal development. No one can deny that the Code of Honor and the university’s core values are an enormous part of what makes Southern Virginia the sort of place where good people can come to be better, and where they’ll find others who are striving to do the same.

    This year’s Rise Up for Honor included speeches by current student Laine Thompson (‘16), alumna Allison Walker (‘13) and Dr. Jan-Erik Jones.

    Thompson compared Southern Virginia Knights to the Marines, referencing standards of chivalry and service. Walker, who recently received a master’s degree in theology, imagination and the arts at the divinity school of Scotland’s University of St. Andrews, drew connections between modern and classical theology, stressing the importance of religion to a fulfilling life.

    “Religion provides the living force by which morality is livable and enjoyable,” she said.

    Dr. Jones was the concluding speaker and incorporated the orientation’s theme, “All In,” into his message, arguing that a person cannot be honorable without being “all in.”

    “Men and women of honor keep their commitments,” he said. “Men and women of honor finish what they start. … You right now have started. … The kind of person you are if you keep your commitments, if you are a finisher, will honor you for the rest of your life, and it will honor us. And we will say that he or she is one of us, he or she is a Knight… Welcome.”

    Following this introduction to the university and its standards, dozens of Southern Virginia University students performed community service in Buena Vista, Va. The acts of service included painting fences, beautifying city parks and weeding the community garden.

    Though service has long been a part of Southern Virginia’s new student orientation, this was one of the most far-reaching and extensive projects. Brian Brown, Buena Vista’s director of economic development said that this was the “highest attended event [he has] had” and that the 32 gallons of paint “doubled” the amount of painting usually done in this project.

    “It’s a great group of kids,” Brown said. “I look forward to doing multiple projects in the future.”

    Joseph Bouchelle, dean of students at Southern Virginia, explained that service has been incorporated into new student orientation to stress that it is an essential part of the university’s “mission to prepare leader-servants.”

    “This is often one of the most memorable aspects of orientation, and one where some great new friends are made,” he said.

    (Post by Madeleine Gail Rex ’16. Photos by Hannah King ’13 and Jordan Wunderlich ’15.)

  5. Speeches: Education Conference 2015

    July 21, 2015

    This year’s Education Conference addressed the roles of temples in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Keynote speaker Elder William R. Walker shared a number of experiences from temple dedications. Dr. Anthony Sweat unfolded several key doctrines to understanding temple ceremonies. Robert and Eleah Boyd recounted their experiences photographing temples with their family. Several other speakers also shared their individual testimonies of temple work and worship.

    Audio recordings of the speeches are available below and at

    (Post by Stephen Taylor ’15.)