Last week was homecoming weekend. There were food trucks, a petting zoo, a dance, two seniors were elected homecoming King and Queen and APU won the football game. But none of those were by any means the highlight of all of the activities. The highlight for all who were at the game was after the King and Queen were announced and Jon Wallace came forward to pray.
If you weren’t there let me set the scene for you. Will and Sierra (homecoming King and Queen) had just received their crowns and Bibles for winning. The crowd was applauding them somewhat enthusiastically but nobody really cared that much other than their close friends and family. Then a man steps forward and says “Let me pray.” There was a half second pause as we all collectively recognized who this man was. None other than Jon Wallace. And the crowd went wild. We all get to our feet and start cheering. The cheering was more thunderous and enthusiastic than any touchdown the football team had ever scored or will ever score for that matter. After about 10 seconds of us screaming, Jon held up his hand, prayed and said “Shalom.”
Our reaction really says a lot about who Jon Wallace is. I would bet that 99 percent of students don’t know what J-Dubs does as the President of APU. Or how what he does is different from what the Vice President or Provost or any other upper administrator. Yet we all know that he gives his best day in and day out at work. For most of us our only Interaction with Wallace is when he welcomes us during orientation, the couple times he speaks at chapel and then at graduation. And yet we all care about him deeply.
That speaks volumes about his character. Through our interactions with Jon, we as a student body have been able to recognize that he means what he says. He cares deeply about the university and its students and in turn, we care deeply about him. We as a community value sincerity. Jon Wallace is authentic. Though we might have never had a personal interaction with him, we feel like we know him. So even though President Wallace might not be on campus this year, we all can still spread the love that he had for this incredible place and everyone that is apart of it.
Shalom, go with God.