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One Family's Legacy, Four Generations of Graduates

One Family's Legacy, Four Generations of Graduates

Excitement filled the air as graduates walked across the stage and received a diploma at Southern Nazarene University's 109th Commencement ceremony on May 12th, 2012. Every graduation day is a milestone, a marker by which lives are referenced. SNU is a higher education tradition for many families, and members of the Class of 2012 are no exception.

Out of the over 22,000 graduates that have passed through the gates of SNU, many are legacy students having grandparents, parents or both attend Southern Nazarene. While every special moment cannot be documented here, the following family was selected as telling examples of the SNU tradition.

The Acre family had four generations of SNU grads at graduation the year Jordan Acre graduated: Jordan's father; Rev. Darrik Acre, Pastor of Piedmont Church of the Nazarene, Class of '90; Darrik's mother Linda Mason graduated in 1983, and her father, Chick Mason '51.

Our desire has always been for our children to attain their college education at SNU. We believe in the academic quality of our Alma Mater, but even more so in its learning environment.

We believed at SNU our son would grow not only in knowledge but also in character. We knew that the university's culture would provide opportunity for spiritual growth and encouragement to serve. We had built some of our most significant relationships at SNU; we wanted that same Christian community to be the place where Jordan made life-long friendships. (Our) college days had been when we grew in our understanding of God's call on our lives; we wanted Jordan's worldview and sense of God's purpose to develop at a place with unapologetic Christian commitments. Knowledge, we may have been able to find for our son another way. The man he has become and is becoming, we believe is the greatest fruit of his four years at SNU. So as we think about graduation and what it means to us, it means gratitude for our Alma Mater and the way it has invested in the life of our son.

SNU is the place where my grandparents found love, direction and training. It is where my mother was encouraged to regain the educational opportunities that were lost in High School. SNU was the pivotal place in my life where God's call to ministry was confirmed and nurtured.

It is where my wife, Susan, and I met, fell in love, married, and even welcomed Jordan into our lives (his first residence experience at SNU was in the Chapman Apartments). SNU has been the preparatory place for our vocations. Susan's degree was in elementary education, which became the foundation of our kids' home-school experience when some early learning difficulties for Jordan led us to make that leap (a choice his successful years at SNU has only confirmed). SNU continues to be a place where I receive resources, fellowship, and continuing education that help make my pursuit of pastoral ministry successful.

Our family's history is intricately tied to the university, and Jordan's graduation represent another chapter in the story of how SNU has been a friend, mentor, support, educational equipper, life stepping-stone, spiritual means of grace, resource, and covenant partner with our family.
— Rev. Darrick Acre

Southern Nazarene University's mission is to transform lives through higher education in Christ-centered community. As a Christian community of scholars, we model the hospitality of grace, the pursuit of truth and the practice of discipleship, all within the Wesleyan-holiness tradition, as we prepare graduates who THINK with clarity, ACT with integrity and SERVE with purpose.