A sad but true reality in our world is that it often takes tragedy to draw people together. The student body of nearby Clemson University was drawn together last week by the death of one of their own, Tucker W. Hipps, whose body was found in Lake Hartwell on Monday, Sept. 22.
Thousands of students gathered that Tuesday night in Clemson’s Bowman Field, each with cellphone in hand, for a modernized version of a candlelight vigil. Tigers of all stripes came together to weep and to pray and to show their mutual support of one another.
Then it was BJU’s turn to unite. On Friday, Sept. 26, members of Bruin Nation came by the hundreds to the Student Center mall to sign a banner for the Clemson family, letting them know we were praying for them. It seemed Clemson’s tragedy not only brought unity to its own university family, but also to the Bob Jones University family as we came together in support of our neighboring students, faculty and staff.
That same day, Bruin Nation unified in another way. Across the campus, students, faculty and staff sported Bruins gear in a show of support for the men’s soccer team in its match against the Clearwater Christian College Cougars later that night. More than 2,500 fans turned out to root for the BJU Bruins as they soundly defeated the Cougars 4-1.
But the players on the field weren’t the only Bruins present. The fans, the announcers, the concession workers, they were all Bruins, too. We are all Bruins at BJU, from the youngest freshman to the most experienced faculty member.
The Bruin isn’t just a symbol of our intercollegiate sports teams. It’s a symbol of our university as a whole. It’s not meant to be a symbol that divides the University family into “Bruins” and “non-Bruins.” It’s meant to be a symbol of unity for the entire University. Every one of us should be proud to be called a BJU Bruin.
And we should show our Bruin pride and unity every day: on game days when we’re pumped for a win, on days when we’re sobered by nearby tragedy and even on those plain old ordinary days when it seems like we’re just barely making it through the daily grind.
So let’s pray together, cry together, laugh together and cheer together every day. Let’s not forget that we are all Bruins, and more importantly, brothers and sisters in Christ.