Roger Williams

U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, right, visits with Southwestern Adventist University faculty and staff and other community members recently at the university’s Larry R. Moore Nursing and Administration Building.  

Southwestern Adventist University was honored to host a reception for U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin, on May 29 in the Larry R. Moore Nursing and Administration Building.

The visit began with SWAU President Ken Shaw welcoming the Congressman to the campus and bringing him to his office. Shaw and Williams traded baseball stories alongside parts of their life stories. Shaw asked Williams to share his story centered on that tragic practice session for the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity back in 2017.

Williams said that was a “life-changing” day and did not know whether he would make it out alive, but after surviving, he knows one thing for sure: “God is in charge.”

Following their meeting, SWAU Nursing Department Chair Kerrie Kimbrow and Shaw gave Williams a tour of the newly constructed state-of-the-art facility which concluded with a public address from Williams that centered on the economy, border patrol and education.

Speaking on the important role of education, Williams expressed admiration of SWAU’s newest structure, whose primary purpose is to train nurses.

We need nurses more than ever in this country,” he said, adding that there is currently a “huge shortage.

“We have 100,000 kids dropping out of school right here in Texas. They are losing hope because they say ‘I can’t be a doctor, I can’t be a businessman, I can’t be a lawyer.’ For a long time I have been a big proponent ... of saying, ‘It is OK to be a carpenter, it is OK to be a welder, it is okay to be a nurse.’”

He said he can relate to going into a field he did not initially plan for.

“I don’t ever remember thinking ‘I want to be a congressman,’” he said, “but life takes us in directions we don’t always expect.”

He concluded his remarks by stating that “America is the greatest country,” and Americans have the responsibility to be a “beacon” in a dark world.

“I am thankful for all you do to make Texas the greatest state in America, the greatest country in the world ...,” he said to SWAU faculty and staff and community members. “When I get up to D.C. and talk about my district, I can talk about this great school. You all can be proud.”

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