A question asked frequently by alumni and friends from both Tennessee and Florida is: “How is everyone getting along?” The answer: “Just beautifully.” After numerous meetings involving administrators, faculty, and staff over the last seven months, everyone speaks favorably of their new colleagues.
Johnson Tennessee hosted joint, beginning-of-year faculty meetings, and, to the person, participants celebrated their new extended family. One JUTN professor spoke of meetings he attended, saying, “We had an amazing meeting. The results are exciting. We all think it is the start of something good.”
Perhaps the largest and most telling indicator was the joint reception of alumni and friends during the 2013 North American Christian Convention. Over 350 administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends from both campuses assembled for the first time. Dozens of persons could be seen moving throughout the crowd greeting persons not known to them. The look and feel was like a wedding reception where guests genuinely wanted to begin to know the “other side of the family.”
During the event Dr. Eubanks addressed the guests by sharing a greeting he had just received from Jim Book from JUFL. Jim stated, “The step-children have arrived!” Dr. Eubanks, not being one to miss an opportunity to encourage, replied, “At Johnson there are no stepchildren, only family.” He framed it. Everyone felt it. And the guests erupted in sustained applause in agreement.
Clearly this extended family respects, values, and appreciates one another and enjoys being together. It’s a beautiful thing.