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106th year begins, unofficially, at Nine O’Clock

Before another 11 a.m. Opening Assembly begins with familiar strains of music played by the Big Purple Band, even before the first 8 a.m. Monday class of a new school year, Abilene Christian University students gathered for the first campus-wide activity of the school year: worship.
Several hundred students were in the auditorium of nearby University Church of Christ tonight for the first Nine O’Clock service of the new semester. Each Sunday night at 9 p.m., students meet for up to an hour to sing, pray and take communion, followed by fellowship, drinks and snacks in UCC’s Family Room.
For this generation of ACU students, the longstanding Nine O’Clock tradition has replaced what their parents and grandparents remember as the weekly Tuesday night devotional on the steps of the Hardin Administration Building, and later, the Beauchamp Amphitheater. All worthy past traditions aside, most would agree that on a hot August night when the 10 p.m. temperature outside is still 96 degrees, an air-conditioned church auditorium makes a pretty comfortable place for a devo.
The university’s 106th year begins Monday morning. ACU president Dr. Phil Schubert (’91) is the featured speaker at Opening Assembly.