Board meeting highlights building projects, academic affairs

President Barry Creamer addressed the Criswell College board of trustees on institutional updates, financial business, and strategic planning on Thursday, October 31st.

Creamer discussed with the board a Royce City property with expectations that the sale will be complete in the near future. Other building project updates included the residence hall, where fundraising is expected to continue. The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention will contribute $250,000 upon the pouring of the foundation.

Creamer updated the board on the Home is Here 2020 initiative, pointing out the admissions office participation with high school college events and the recent Fall Preview Day, where attendance increased compared to Spring Preview Day from 22 to 78. Between 2017-19 high school campus visits grew from 71 to 340 and 6 camps were visited.

“There is only so much you can do to retain non-traditional students. The dorm will help with retention,” Creamer said. “We increased enrollment in these online programs slightly, but we recognized that these programs will not be our primary focus.”

The 2019 Criswell Legacy Awards Gala highlights during the board meeting included a report of over 500 in attendance and plans in the works to have the 2020 Criswell Legacy Gala at the Omni Hotel in Dallas.

Creamer also mentioned the possibility of creating a double major for all undergraduate students to begin in Fall 2020, which consist of a 30-hour Bible and Theology major as well as a major of their choice.

During the Founders Day chapel, board members were in attendance where professor Bill Watson preached from Mark 8. Afterwards, board members gathered for lunch with student ambassadors who shared their campus experiences.

The board received a presentation from Dr. Christopher Graham on the Common Student Experience, providing guidance on the necessity to develop students recently admitted; a student success course and peer communities; global and local service learning; and major specific capstones, professional communities, and peer mentoring of freshman.

Trustees got their first look at the college’s new brand platform featuring designs, graphics, and a tagline created to capture the attention of perspective students.

Also during the trustee meeting, the board unanimously approved the promotions of Dr. Scott Bridger to Professor, Dr. Christopher Graham to Professor, and Dr. Jeff Campbell to Associate Professor.