Dear Family and Friends,
On behalf of Cedarville University, Joy, Rachel, Samuel, and I pray you have a blessed Christmas and start to the New Year. This past year has brought some personal losses to our family, accompanied by many blessings. Please allow me to share just a few events from this past year.
Samuel turned six this year and has had great fun playing soccer. Our constant extrovert, he enjoys the fellowship as much as the competition. He excels at math and loves to read, play video games, and build with Legos. He currently has three loose teeth and is missing three others. He brings a smile to all with his giggles and vibrant personality.
Rachel will be a teenager in just a few more days. She ran cross country for Cedarville Middle School this year and medaled in her first meet. She continues to be homeschooled with Classical Conversations and excels in logic. She serves others well, focuses on the details to demonstrate great hospitality and fashion sense, and is growing up to be a godly young lady.
Joy continues homeschooling both Rachel and Samuel. She wrote several devotionals for a women’s devotional book this year. She continues to mentor students, help lead the Women’s Soccer Team Bible study, and serve the University in many ways.
Since our last letter to you, we have suffered through some personal heartache. We unexpectedly lost our cousin Cody last December, my grandmother went home to be with the Lord in May, and Joy’s Aunt Deb passed away in September. We also lost our Labrador retriever, Shadow, in February. The Lord’s grace has been sufficient even through the toughest times, and during this holiday season we will remember many of you who have also suffered loss this past year.
On the brighter side, in March of this year, we welcomed a German shepherd puppy named Duchess into our family. Joy and I also took some time off for an anniversary trip to Hawaii this summer. We enjoyed visiting Pearl Harbor, snorkeling, scuba diving, exploring the road to Hana, and some down time.
The Lord continues to bless Cedarville University. Among other things, the list below indicates what the Lord has been doing. Most importantly, the Lord continues to change lives through salvation, repentance, and calling men and women to serve Him through their vocation.
- We welcomed our largest-ever freshman class of 872 students.
- We experienced a record overall enrollment of 3,963 students — up 203 students from last year.
- We opened a completely paid for new $3.3 million dormitory named Jenkins Hall.
- We completed a renovation and expansion of The Hive, our campus snack shop and popular hangout spot, and gave the updated space a new name — Stinger’s, after our mascot and fight song.
- We will build another $3 million residence hall this year debt free.
- We received successful reaccreditation for the next ten years, with no recommendations.
Finally, there are two opportunities that I want to bring to your attention. First, this year we are developing a ten-year Campus Master Plan. Please pray with us that the Lord will lead us to create the right plans and will provide partners in ministry to come alongside us financially at the appropriate time. This may be the most ambitious fundraising plan in the history of the institution. We know that we need the Lord to establish our steps before us, and for God to put it in the hearts of many partners to help accomplish this God-sized task.
I would also ask you to pray about joining the President’s Society. This Society includes a special group of partners committed to training the next generation to stand “for The Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ.” Whether contributing at the entry level of $1,000 per year or at the leadership level of $10,000 per year, these gifts go directly to student scholarships that help keep Cedarville University affordable and accessible for families. Lives are changed by the Gospel both on campus and throughout the world as our students serve wherever God leads them. Your gifts impact eternity.
We pray Ephesians 3:20–21 for each of you, “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” Please let us know if we may ever be of service to you, and we pray God’s blessings upon you as you take time to celebrate King Jesus during the upcoming holiday season.
In Christ Alone,
Thomas, Joy, Rachel, and Samuel White