March 2024

Update from Dr. Gary Weier

As of March 1, nineteen current faculty members were confirmed as not returning for the 2024–25 academic year at Bob Jones University. Out of the nineteen, seven faculty members are retiring, and five have submitted their resignations. One resignation is due to dissatisfaction, and four are due to normal transitions like becoming a stay-at-home mom or becoming a full-time pastor. The contracts for seven faculty members were not renewed — most of these non-renewal decisions resulted from low enrollment in specific programs.

Though not abnormal within higher education, these changes naturally generate important questions within our BJU community. Dr. Gary Weier, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Bob Jones University, provided answers to the following questions:

Q: How many programs are being discontinued, and what is the outlook for other programs at BJU?

A: At the end of this academic year, five programs will be discontinued due to multiple years of low enrollment. The five discontinued programs include one master’s, one degree completion program, one concentration, one certificate and one minor. While we never like to see a program end, the overall outlook is strong. Not only are many of our existing programs healthy and showing significant growth potential, but we are also adding twelve new programs for the 2024–25 academic year.

Q: Is there a particular school that is more affected by the personnel and program changes than other schools?

A: The current personnel and program changes are spread across multiple schools, but the school most affected is the School of Fine Arts and Communication. As one of our largest schools housing disciplines dating back to the start of Bob Jones College in 1927, the school of Fine Arts and Communication continues to be a vital part of the Christian liberal arts education at BJU. We are committed to growing the programs within the school of Fine Arts and Communication and we are committed to cultivating an appreciation for fine arts at Bob Jones University. Each year, students from a wide variety of academic programs make up the choirs, the orchestras, the actors, and the stage crews to beautifully execute BJU’s fine arts performances. In the upcoming year, we are pleased to announce the Concert, Opera and Drama series­­ — our signature fine arts events — will include Handel’s Messiah, Cyrano de Bergerac, and the musical, The Sound of Music.

Magazine Coming Soon

The second issue of the Alumni and Donor Update magazine should be landing in your mailboxes starting next week!

The Summer/Fall 2023 issue featured some of the many faces of faculty and staff who shoulder the mission of BJU. In the upcoming issue, the Advancement and Alumni Relations Departments celebrate the missional victories God has granted BJU in recent months. If you do not receive your copy of the Winter/Spring issue of the Alumni and Donor Update, or if you have any questions regarding the magazine, please email [email protected].

Acta Grant Recipients

Each year, the Alumni Relations Department, on behalf of the Alumni Association, forms a committee to choose the recipients of a grant called Alumni Child Tuition Aid. The grant is awarded to a current junior or senior who is a child of an alum in the Alumni Association. At the start of the spring semester, the committee — the Director of Alumni Relations, the Director of Financial Aid and at least two Alumni Association members — meet to review the applicants. The recipients are chosen based on financial need, academic performance and strength of their application, including a personal essay.

After deliberating over a much larger number of applications than in recent years, the committee awarded six students $1,000 each to be applied to their school accounts.

  • Samuel Daniel — son of Nathan (’92 grad) and Lydia Daniel
  • Bradley Fox — son of Brian (’11 grad) and Amanda (’97 grad) Fox
  • Katherine Huffstutler — daughter of Joel (’95 grad) and Abigail (’95 grad) Huffstutler
  • William Johns — son of Brian (’98 grad) and Suzanne (’97 grad) Johns
  • Alyssa Moody — daughter of Robert (’87 grad) and Cyndi Moody
  • Daniela Paul — daughter of Michael and Zina (’93 grad) Paul

50 Years of BJU Press

BJU Press Launches 50th Anniversary Celebration

Written by Kristi Neal

Much has changed since we published our first textbook, Physical Science, in 1974. In those early days, the entire operation was housed in a 6-by-10-foot room and was supported by many volunteers and employees from multiple BJU departments. Today, BJU Press has over 450 employees and operates within over 190,000 square feet of space. Students in 130 countries use over two million BJU Press products every day!

We are looking forward to celebrating our 50th anniversary with you! Visit our commemorative website to learn more about our history and how God is using BJU Press to provide biblical worldview education!

Check back on the website often for news about planned anniversary events, including a 50th anniversary art show and reunion at BJU Homecoming Weekend. All friends, former employees and employees will be welcome!

Do you have special memories of BJU Press?

We’re collecting memories, stories and pictures to share on our anniversary site. Do you have special memories or pictures from working at BJU Press or using our products? We’d love to hear from you! Email your memories to [email protected].

Inside the Lines with Jonathan Washer

“I’ve been in prison 135 times.”

Most of society today focuses on emptying prisons and counting down the days until the incarcerated earn their freedom. Yet Bob Jones University graduate Jonathan Washer spends his days doing everything he can to be behind bars. A 2006 Bible evangelism grad, Jonathan is always looking for his next opportunity to be with inmates. His prison evangelism ministry, Inside the Lines, has operated for almost ten years in eight states and two different countries, using basketball, soccer and volleyball tournaments to share the Gospel with men and women who are serving time. Using sports, Jonathan brings the good news of empowerment to the powerless, freedom to the captive, and salvation to the doomed.

Jonathan has been in 70 different prisons and seen countless inmates submit their lives to Christ. He has a unique ability to meet a convicted felon and immediately see great potential, often asking himself, “How would this man change with the Gospel in his life?” Many inmates have experienced this life-changing power during the 135 tournaments held over the past 10 years. Inside the Lines relies heavily on support and partnership with local churches. Roughly 75 volunteers per year help Jonathan and his team run tournaments, distribute Bibles and counsel the prisoners who respond to the Gospel. These volunteers are members of local churches, students at BJU and other Christian universities, and even includes a former Buddhist monk!

Jonathan fondly remembers the classes he took during his undergraduate studies at BJU and claims the University trained him “how to give the Gospel and how to preach evangelistic services.” During his time at BJU, Jonathan became part of a broad network of potential ministry partners. In fact, he partners with BJU alumni pastors in multiple states on a yearly basis and at a recent tournament, all the volunteers were on their second trip to prison with Inside the Lines. Jonathan is clearly compelled to keep going back to prison and looks forward to the day that his own sons are old enough to go with him. What fuels his commitment to this ministry? Jonathan’s simple answer points to the power of the gospel. “It’s the stories of these inmates whose lives are changed by the gospel that motivates me. They have just as much potential to serve the Lord and preach as I do.”

Our longer conversation with Jonathan Washer has been recorded and can be found by clicking one of the links below!

BJU Holds Annual Prayer Breakfast

Last Thursday, March 14, Bob Jones University held the annual Allen Jacobs Memorial Prayer Breakfast — an event honoring the memory of Officer Allen Jacobs and other Greenville County officers who have been killed in the line of duty. At the event, South Carolina Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette delivered the keynote address and WYFF 4 anchor, Jane Robelot, emceed. In the presence of approximately 150 people, several awards were presented including the Allen Jacobs Award of Valor and The Distinguished Achievement Award. This year, the Allen Jacobs Award of Valor was given to Lance Corporal Justin Owens of the South Carolina Highway Patrol. Additionally, former BJU student Captain Steve Rhea was honored with the Distinguished Achievement Award. For 28 years, Captain Rhea has served in uniform with Greenville County. Within those years, he filled a variety of roles including patrol, special investigations, and for 19 of those years, he served with the SWAT team — five of them as Commander. Currently, Rhea serves as Captain in the Criminal Investigations Division.

Congratulations to all the worthy award recipients!

If you’d like to learn more about this event, watch the news coverage here.

1000 Consecutive Days of Prayer

SermonAudio recently reached an incredible milestone — 1,000 consecutive days of prayer with fellow believers around the world! Every day on the campus of Bob Jones University at the headquarters of SermonAudio, a prayer meeting is held over Zoom that includes Christians from countries all over the map! Steven Lee, founder of SermonAudio, heads up this effort, and he has been involved since its inception.

Steven and his team have consciously dedicated themselves to a time of prayer each morning since January 2020. The decision to unite in prayer was initially made at a meeting called the Foundations Conference in New York in December 2019. As they left the conference, each attendee was highly encouraged to continue uniting in prayer. At first the individuals met in small groups locally, but after the onset of COVID-19, the prayer meetings were held over Zoom. The first several of these prayer meetings only brought together about 10–15 people, but after a few months, over 80 people joined in the prayer effort!

In addition to these daily commitments, SermonAudio held a 24-hour prayer meeting during Bible Conference Week. BJU students were present each hour of prayer from 7 p.m. Thursday to 7 p.m. Friday. Hundreds of people from around the world virtually joined the students and staff each hour to pray and listen to encouraging challenges from God’s Word.

Would you like to join SermonAudio for these daily times of prayer, either in person or on Zoom? If so, use the following link: SermonAudio website page.

Employment Opportunities

Alumni Updates

Future Bruins

Dickinson, Peter ’16 and Jaimie (Wilson) ’14, Calvin David, February 8, 2024

Kashuba, Benjamin and Kristiann (Knudson) ’20, William Andrew, February 4, 2024

Matthews, Scott ’15 and Megan (Steeves) ’15, Raelynn Paige, June 30, 2023


Crace, Nelvin ’71, February 10, 2024

Doney, Analee (Hudson) ’58, October 25, 2023

Doyle, Ellen ’93 FE, February 17, 2024

Dutton, Mark ’83 FE, February 20, 2024

Erkens, Kristin (Elmhorst) 1 YB, February 23, 2024

Geyer, Jimmie ’76, February 3, 2024

Harber, Roxann (Jarvis) ’73, January 29, 2024

Jones, Philip ’66, February 16, 2024

Kelley, Gregory ’80, February 22, 2024

McCullough, Howard ’55, February 8, 2024

McKenney, Jerold ’64, March 12, 2024

McLanahan, Frances (Hunton) ’56 FE, January 29, 2024

Penoyer, Rebecca (Montgomery) ’80, February 28, 2024

Pettegrew, Larry ’65, January 30, 2024

Shupe, Glen ’63 ICS, February 29, 2024

Sprout, Barbara ’60 FE, February 25, 2024

St. Pierre, Dolores (Johnson) ’60, February 2, 2024

Suran, Robert ’57, September 28, 2023

Tessmann, Richard ’65, February 26, 2024

*FE indicates a long-time former employee of BJU.

Class Notes

Dr. Amos Wipf ’56 (FE) recently celebrated his 100th birthday! A party was held in his honor in Cleveland, GA.

Louise (Talley) Hundley ’81 just retired after 40 years in education. She continues to substitute teach in the public schools.

(Calvin) Wayne Shirley ’13 recently became the Facilities Director at Piedmont Technical College in Greenwood, South Carolina.

David Beckwith ’18 just celebrated five years working as an associate pastor at Shining Light Baptist Church in Monroe, NC.

Subscribe to the Newsletter

The Voice, BJU's digital alumni newsletter, goes out once a month. Stay updated with your BJU Community.

Exclusion of MLM and P2P Selling

As the Alumni Relations department at Bob Jones University, we prioritize integrity and transparency within our community. To maintain these values and ensure the best experience for all users, we are unable to list Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) or Peer-to-Peer (P2P) links in the small business section of our Resource web page.

What does this mean?

  1. No MLM: We do not allow any business models that involve recruiting others into a hierarchical structure where compensation is based on the recruitment efforts of those below them rather than on actual sales or services.
  2. No P2P Selling: We do not support the direct selling of goods or services from one individual to another without proper oversight or regulation. This includes but is not limited to direct person-to-person sales, often conducted through social networks or other informal channels.

Why have we made this decision?

  • Protection of Users: We aim to protect our alumni from potential financial harm or exploitation that can be associated with MLM.
  • Maintaining Trust: By excluding MLM and P2P selling, we maintain the trust and credibility of our community, ensuring a safe and reliable environment for all participants.

If you come across any content or activity on our platform (including social media sites) that violates these guidelines, please report it immediately. Together, we can foster a community built on fairness, trust, and mutual respect.

Thank you for being a part of the BJU Alumni community.