No. 300

If you share my view that education is extremely important, here is a quotation by British educator Thomas Arnold (1795-1842) that will certainly place things in the proper perspective. He said, “Education is first, religious and moral principles; secondly, gentlemanly conduct; thirdly, intellectual ability.” This may be the reason Will Rogers once said, “It’s better to be ignorant than to learn a lot of things that ain’t so.”
One morning several weeks ago the phone rang in my office and it was Gary Adkisson, publisher of the Bluefield Daily Telegraph in Bluefield, West Virginia. He wanted to know if I might be interested in being the keynote speaker for Bluefield College, located just across the state line in Virginia, at their Second Annual Media Appreciation Day. If so, he wanted to give my name to Chris Shoemaker, Director of Public Relations who was coordinating the event.
Chris called a few days later and we were able to work out the details and I can tell you that my life will never be the same again. The total experience was just exhilarating. The mountains in this part of our country are beautiful and I met some wonderful people like Chris Shoemaker, Dennis Nesser, Dr. Bill Carrell, President Dr. Dan MacMillan and others at the college. I also had a chance to visit and get to know Gary Adkisson, Managing Editor Tom Colley and some of the staff at the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. My talk went well and I was pleased the paper started my column the week I was there.
Bluefield College is a small Christian liberal arts college that was founded in 1922 and it has provided “A Lighthouse On Top Of The Appalachian Mountains.” Today the college has approximately 800 students and 300 of these live on campus. The statement of purpose says in part, “The college seeks to foster in its students excellence in character and sound ethics, sensitivity to religious, cultural and ethnic diversity, and an understanding of responsible service to God and our society.”
For me, what made this event so special is that the leaders of this outstanding small college understand the role and value the media plays in helping them achieve great success. It is for this reason they are committed to setting aside a special day each year just to say “THANK YOU.” Attending this special “Second Annual Media Appreciation Day” were representatives from a large number of area newspapers, radio and television stations along with the trustees, journalism students and other key people from the college.
Here is a portion of Chris Shoemaker’s statement as printed in the official program, “For years, Bluefield College has depended on the media to share its stories, and for years you, the area’s dedicated journalists, have responded. This is why we are committed to dedicating a day on the BC campus to recognize you and the work you have done for Bluefield College.” Just think of the hundreds of articles, stories and reports the various area newspapers, radio and television stations has given this college free of charge and you will begin to get the picture.
Needless to say I was very impressed. This college is nestled in a beautiful valley with a Southeast view of East River Mountain right across the street, with an elevation of 3800 feet. Many of its graduates have gone on to achieve national and international fame. In addition to academic excellence this college is in a safe environment and the faculty and students there really care about each other. If you would like to have more information just contact Bluefield College, 3000 College Drive, Bluefield, Virginia 24605 or visit their website at (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)