My wife Ann and I have been so blessed to be part of the Southwestern Adventist University family. Within a few days of our arrival in 2014, we were warmly embraced by our University community and the wonderful people of Johnson County.
On my first day in office, I had lunch with Judge Roger Harmon, Cleburne Mayor Scott Cain, Cleburne Police Chief Robert Severance, business leaders Vance Castles and Dr. Bob Kelly and Commissioners Don Beeson and Larry Woolley. Though it was also her first day as president of Hill College, I had opportunity to visit with Dr. Pam Boehm. What a delightful welcome I received.
That same afternoon I had opportunity to meet another group of wonderful community leaders, Lowell “Stretch” Smith, Michelle Marti, John Turman and Tom Hazlewood. I have valued the relationships and friendships with these individuals over the past seven years.
Sadly, this will be my last message to the Cleburne Times-Review as I will be transitioning to a new role as president of Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee, beginning in June.
Though being closer to family and serving my Alma mater will be heartwarming, Ann and I will also be heartbroken as we have dedicated seven years of our lives to Southwestern Adventist University and to Johnson County. I have come to admire and respect the faculty and staff who have committed themselves to this institution and who work hard each day fulfilling the important mission of inspiring knowledge, faith and service through Christ-centered education. We will miss our University family.
I will also miss all of you. I have enjoyed being engaged in various community events conducted by the Keene and Cleburne chambers, appreciated being a member of the Cleburne Rotary Club and Pinnacle 50 Club, and my wife and I have loved the people and the mission of the Cleburne Christian Business Club.
The people of Johnson County have taught us that having a Texas heart means that you genuinely care about one another. The love we have felt will never be forgotten.
Though Ann and I are saying our farewells, we will also never forget this valuable part of our faith journey where we have had the privilege of sharing treasured experiences with so many wonderful students, faculty, staff, alumni and community friends.
I look forward to the day when we can say farewell to farewells and reunite as a Johnson County community family in heaven. What a day of rejoicing that will be!
Dr. Ken Shaw is president of Southwestern Adventist University.