Lecture Series Comes to Life

By:
Ken Shaw

At Southwestern Adventist University, the integration of knowledge and faith is a vital part of our mission.  Our tagline of “Knowledge, Faith, Service” embodies the very essence of our existence.  This intentional combination allows our university community to appreciate God’s wonderful design within the various academic disciplines and provides a Biblical worldview which helps define our origins, our purpose, and our future.    

With the integration of knowledge and faith being firmly rooted on this campus, Southwestern Adventist University began a new lecture series this year, entitled, the “Hal Wright Science and Religion Lecture Series.”  It is named after one of Southwestern Adventist University’s former faculty members and academic dean.  As he reminisced, former president Don McAdams recalled, “Hal Wright was one of the most outstanding faculty members I had at Southwestern Adventist University.  He was a nuclear physicist at the White Sands Missile Range when I met him.  He was a strict but loving dean and a brilliant teacher.” 

In November the inaugural lecture of the new series began by honoring Dr. Hal Wright.  His son, Trevor, who currently serves as the chief operating officer of Loma Linda University Health Hospitals, shared stories about his dad and about growing up in Keene, Texas.  He and his family were thrilled that we were honoring his dad in this special way.  University professor, Dr. Jared Wood, who holds a Ph.D. in Conservation Biology and Genetics from the University of Louisville, followed the introduction with a powerful and practical lecture, entitled, “Conservation: God Cares and We Should Too.”  Dr. Wood has a passion to help students experience the world around them.  He is co-director of our annual dinosaur dig and engages students in hands-on experiences through various field trips where they can make a positive difference in their surrounding environment. 

This month, we had as our guest lecturer, Dr. Tim Standish, senior scientist at the Geoscience Research Institute in Loma Linda, California.  He spoke on the topic of reality, describing the beauty of nature, challenging Darwinian assertions, and encouraging all attendees to have a radical engagement with reality.

On Saturday, March 30, at 4:00 p.m. in the Wharton Auditorium on our campus, Dr. Jason Lisle will present the topic, “Understanding Genesis.”  Dr. Lisle is a Christian astrophysicist who researches issues pertaining to science and the Christian faith.  He is the founder of Biblical Science Institute, an author, and well-known speaker. 

We are indebted to a generous alumnus who had the vision of establishing and sponsoring the lecture series after a beloved faculty member and administrator.  He shared, “Hal was truly a remarkable man and leader; we’d love to find some way to continue his legacy.”  A university is much more than faculty teaching and students learning.  A university involves the community, and having this lecture series is one way that our local community can come to campus and be intellectually engaged. 

This article is an opinion piece written by President Shaw for the Cleburne Times Review.