Robert Carr Chapel and Bass Conference Center were abuzz on Tuesday, August 29, as Brite marked the beginning of the 2023-24 academic year with the Opening Convocation and a community luncheon. During the celebratory morning, Admissions Director Monica Bradley read the names of 56 individuals who have begun taking classes at Brite this academic year. That group is the largest to matriculate at Brite in several years.
After welcoming greetings from TCU Chancellor Victor Boschini and Brite’s board chair, Dr. Stuart McDonald, Rev. Virzola Law prayed an opening invocation. Later in the morning, Pastor Law, who chairs the presidential search committee, provided an update, indicating a strong candidate pool has been identified and interviews will begin early in the fall. Dean and Executive Vice President Michael Miller described recent faculty achievements, developing new Centers for Lifelong Learning, and Theology and Justice, as well as more intentional focus on helping students and others discern their vocational callings. The dean also celebrated filling the position of Associate Dean as Dr. Timothy Sandoval moved into that role during the summer.
Interim President Michael Cooper-White delivered the convocation address on the theme of “The Dawning of a BRITE Future.” Drawing upon themes undergirding Brite’s long-range planning process, he suggested that five “markers” of the school’s future could be: Bold, Radical (going to the roots), Interstitial (serving especially those who fall between the cracks), Theological, and Ecumenical.
Following the address, the board chair introduced and thanked Dr. Timothy and Ms. Sylvia Stevens, who recently committed “one of the largest gifts ever received by Brite” to fund an endowment for “Future Church and Communities.” A soon-to-be-hired “Church Innovator” will offer courses and seminars in innovative leadership, and also be available as a consultant to congregations and organizations seeking renewal and innovative outreach.