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New issue explores ACU’s growing national reputation

ACU Today’s new Fall-Winter 2020 issue is anchored by a sprawling 24-page cover story diving into “An Emerging National University,” and it begins hitting mailboxes this weekend.
Dr. Cheryl Mann Bacon (’76) authors the lead story, which looks behind the scenes at the university’s intentionally strategic growth in recent years and how it dovetails with the unprecedented recognition ACU received in the 2020 higher education rankings by U.S. News and World Report. Bacon is professor and chair emerita of journalism and mass communication.
In its annual publication, U.S. News presents a new way of measuring institutions and their value. Its latest “America’s Best Colleges” edition reveals rankings based on what presidents, provosts and chief enrollment officers of the nation’s colleges and universities think about vital ways to determine student success. The institutions excelling at that may not surprise you, but prominent among them is Abilene Christian.
In fact, ACU was judged the best in Texas and among the best in the nation at several of these important measures.
Dr. Susan (Lester ’92) Lewis, vice provost, and Dr. Jeremy Elliott, associate professor of language and literature, author companion stories about ACU’s unique emphasis on experiential learning. A Q&A with board chair April (Bull0ck ’89) Anthony wraps up the coverage with her thoughts about the university’s amazing new opportunities and its bright future.
Other featured content in this issue:

  • “FilmFest at Fifteen” examines how ACU’s popular student film festival has grown and matured since 2004 into a respected showcase for young artists. ACU Advancement Office communications coordinator Sarah Carlson (’06) interviewed music video producer Randy Brewer (’93) and feature filmmaker Brent McCorkle (I Can Only Imagine), who speak passionately about how much they enjoy their time as FilmFest judges and mentors to students. FilmFest marked its 15th anniversary in 2019 and is overseen by Dr. Kyle Dickson (’92).
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    Don Finto (’50) is profiled as the most recent recipient of ACU’s Dale and Rita Brown Outlive Your Life Award.
    Don Finto (’50) is profiled as the most recent recipient of ACU’s Dale and Rita Brown Outlive Your Life Award.

    Photo by Ed Rode

    Longtime Nashville evangelist Don Finto (’50) is profiled as the most recent recipient of ACU’s Dale and Rita Brown Outlive Your Life Award, an honor he received at May 2019 Commencement. Deana (Hamby ’93) Nall writes about someone award-winning music producer Michael Blanton (’73) and a host of other admiring Christians in Music City call Papa Don.
  • “Wildcat football success once centered on the Brothers Orr” is the title of the Second Glance essay. David Ramsey (’81), award-winning columnist for The Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colorado, writes about four remarkable brothers from Vernon, Texas, who mastered the art of playing center for their alma mater’s football team. If you can think of another quartet of siblings who played the same position for the same collegiate team over multiple decades, be sure to let us know. We think the Orrs’ feat is unmatched in the sport.

Watch this blog for insights into other stories from this issue, and enjoy the online edition below.

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