Cheers for the The Class of 2020
| by Carol Best firstname.lastname@example.org
To honor the Class of 2020 and the unexpected change in their final semester in college, six of our newest graduates share their thoughts about their MNU experience and their future plans.
THE GRADUATES OF 2020 ARE AMONG MILLIONS who have had traditional milestones of life cancelled or postponed due to unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. Completing their senior year on campus and enjoying the celebrations surrounding Commencement are just two of these important markers in adult life. To honor the Class of 2020 and the unexpected change in their final semester in college, six of our newest graduates share their thoughts about their MNU experience and their future plans.
Major: Business Administration
Hometown: Overland Park, Kansas
Activities: Associated Student Government President
Most Influential Pioneer: ASG Advisor Lisa Downs
Significant Memory: “I’ve grown in ways too many to count. When I started college, my faith was not my top priority. My priority was to get
school over with. But people at MNU invested in me in such deep impactful ways I didn’t expect. I am passionate today about the transformation MNU has had on my life.”
Current Plans: Will wed fiancé Maris George (’21) in July. Working to earn his real estate license and join his father, Kevin Borger (’97), at Generation’s Real Estate.
Major: Communications; Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Bennington, Nebraska
Activities: Student Chaplain, Honors Student, National Society of Leadership and Success
Most Influential Pioneer: Sharon Jackson, Spiritual Life Administrative Assistant
Significant Memory: “The way I see God changed throughout my time at MNU.
I realized I was allowing other things to guide my decisions as opposed to the Lord. At MNU, I received an image of God that I never would have gotten had I not allowed myself to be loved by the people of this community. Over the last four years, I have learned that there is love waiting to be found in every corner of this campus.”
Current Plans: Working as a Medical Office Specialist. Plans to attend graduate school for school counseling.
Hometown: Olathe, Kansas
Activities: Resident Assistant, Student Diversity, Track & Field
Most Influential Pioneer: Director of Residential Life Devon Brown
Significant Memory: “When Dr. Larry Fine, professor emeritus, said to me, ‘If Jesus is your perfect example and we follow Him, then why wouldn’t you want to be baptized?’ He invested so much in explaining that to me. That moment meant a lot.”
Current Plans: Planning a late August 2020 wedding to Michael Magee. Ministry is her passion and she is excited to serve at MNU as resident educator in Stockton-Rice Dorm.
Major: Nursing, Minor: Psychology
Hometown: Overland Park, Kansas
Activities: Cross Country, Track & Field, Symphonic Choirs, Women’s and Heritage Choirs, Lighthouse Group co-leader, Haiti Mission Trip 2017, Guatemala Nursing Mission Trip 2019
Most Influential Pioneer: Amy Cain, Assistant Professor of Counseling
Significant Memory: “Before MNU I had a lot of knowledge about Jesus, but a mission trip to Haiti in my freshman year was life-changing. To see how people live in an underdeveloped country was so impactful. I wondered how we would minister to them when we can’t speak their language. I learned that love doesn’t have a language. Love can be your actions toward someone.”
Current Plans: Accepted her “dream position” as a nurse on the mother/baby unit at University of Kansas Medical Center, has passed the NCLEX and is training to run a marathon with fellow alumni teammates.
Major: Criminal Justice
Hometown: Sedalia, Missouri
Most Influential Pioneer: Rev. Marge Owens, Olathe resident and long-time supporter of MNU and Dante’s “MNU Grandma”
Significant Memory: “I’ve been transformed here at MNU by people I’ve been surrounded by. I was distant. Now I talk with people I never saw myself talking to. It helped me grow my personality. Over the years I’ve grown closer to people of MNU. They sought after me. I was not a big church guy but MNU has shaped me to love God even more.
Current Plans: Working as a Juvenile Intake Specialist for Johnson County, Kansas.
Hometown: Vallejo, California
Activities: Football, Resident Assistant, Student Diversity Council Events Chair
Current Plans: Works at ACES ABA, a treatment center for autism in Orange County, California, as a behavioral therapist.
About five years ago, I would have been on my way to a small school in Kansas that gave me a chance, but life took a turn for the worse. I graduated from high school and was headed to MNU to play football. Days before my flight, my mom was shot. Being a bartender at the time, she happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and this changed our lives forever. I chose to stay behind to help her recover, and my dream of going to college was put on hold. I had no idea what God was doing behind the scenes. He had a plan that I could not yet see.
I attended a local community college and played football with hopes to have another opportunity to play at a university. My grades were average, my performance on the field was average and I was not motivated. I was about to finish my second year at community college when I decided to reach out to the coach at MNU. By the grace of God, I was given a second chance to play football for MNU.
In spring of 2017, I was headed to Kansas. Prior to leaving, I made a promise to my girlfriend that I would go to church with her every Sunday until I left. THIS IS WHEN MY LIFE CHANGED! I decided to give my life to Christ on December 25, 2016. I was moved by the Spirit and knew that God was calling me to something bigger than I could even imagine. I didn’t know what that looked like at the time, but I knew I just had to trust Him.
I went off to Kansas feeling like a new person, having just been baptized. I was ready to take on any challenges standing in my way. My experience was not what I thought it would be. It was amazing. I met people, made connections, built relationships and learned so, so, so much.
I was able to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. I exposed myself to things I wouldn’t have exposed myself to if I continued on the path I was on before; if I would have continued to follow the crowd and tried to please everyone else but myself, I would not have accomplished what I have accomplished.
Thank you, God. Thank you to the family and friends who supported me along this journey. Thank you to my fiancé for making me go to church with her. Thank you to MNU and all my professors who have poured so much into me and for all the opportunities you have provided. I have a bachelor’s degree. Nobody can take that away from me. Not even COVID-19! As a first generation, black man, I am beyond grateful to say I have graduated from college. A lot of people in my community did not have the opportunity I had, which is why I will always be dedicated to giving back in any way possible.
It’s not over yet, I will continue to strive for greatness. Next up, master’s degree.