With summer officially ended, a new school year was now in session. New faces, new hopes and expectations, and new attitudes could be easily spotted, as students made their way to the Gymnatorium for the semester’s first chapel session. This first corporate worship session kicked off under the theme: “Relying on God, leaning on the Word.” A lively praise and worship session was held, as students, faculty and staff gave thanks for the opportunity of a new school year. The welcome was then warmly brought to the university family by the newly elected USM President; Cynthia Garbutt.
The first chapel message of the year was taken from the book of Daniel and was given by the Vice-President of Student Services Dr. Newton Cleghorne, which gave some noteworthy pieces of advice.
Students were admonished to be like Daniel, to purpose within their minds to always do the right thing. They were reminded that Daniel made a resolute decision to always do what was right despite the adversities. Dr. Cleghorne stated, “If you are going to survive at NCU and become what you want to be…you must make up your mind! Be determined and completely decided to go the way God wants you to.”
Dr. Cleghorne continued by reminding students that they also have to make a decision not to allow anyone to distract them from their goals. He cautioned them to choose wisely who they are associated with, as looks can be deceiving, “you may be surprised to know that you are hanging out with a demon.”
Students were also reminded that Daniel followed his God-given purpose, as a result of this he became a skilled negotiator and also served as a prophet. He served Babylon for more than 70 years and even continued to serve the government of the successive nation.
Dr. Cleghorne ended his charge by encouraging students to “dare to be a Daniel, dare to stand alone, dare to follow your purpose. Stand up for the right though the heavens fall.” He continued, “we need more Daniels at NCU, who will have a purpose in their hearts and conduct themselves in a manner that pleases God.”
Students were then sent back to classes fully geared up for what waited for them in the semester to come.