Bryan breaks ground for new entrance
February 06, 2009

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From a look back to the college’s namesake and a reminder of trustees’ prayers to a look toward Bryan’s expanding reach into the world, college and community leaders broke ground Feb. 6, for Bryan’s new entrance off U.S. 27.


Pictured, from left, Blake Hudson, vice president for advancement; Vance Berger, vice president for finance; Peter Held, vice president for student life; John Haynes, trustee chairman; President Livesay; Rachel Welch, president, student government association; Cal White, academic vice president; Margie Legg, executive assistant to the president; and Tim Hostetler, vice president of operations.
President Stephen Livesay called the occasion “a groundbreaking for what will be the next chapter in Bryan’s history.” To set the context, he reminded the crowd of community leaders and friends of the college that even before William Jennings Bryan came to Dayton in 1925, “he expressed a wish for a Christian liberal arts college that puts Christ first. I am pleased to say that at Bryan College, ‘Christ Above All’ is not just words on paper but is what we strive to live out every day.”


He recounted former trustee Don Efird’s charge to him at his first trustee meeting after being named president in 2003: “He pulled me aside and said, ‘Young man, you have one assignment. I and others have prayed for 40 years that God would give us a new entrance.’”


He paid tribute to John Sprankell, whose “Lions for the Kingdom” project raised funds to purchase stone lions that will be placed at the entrance east of Richland Street.


State Sen. Ken Yager said, “This is a very historic event not only in the life of the college but in the community. We are beginning to change the face of Bryan College by offering the community and the world a new glimpse of the college through this entrance. Bryan College has adhered to the principles of the founders of putting Christ first while maintaining a commitment to rigorous academic standards. While the face of the college is changing, the heart of the college is not.”


State Rep. Jim Cobb congratulated the college on the achievement, and praised Alumni Director David Tromanhauser for his creative efforts, such as class competitions, in fund-raising for the entrance.


Mayor Bob Vincent acknowledged the cooperative efforts between the college and city to win permits for the project, and said the City of Dayton has traffic improvement plans of its own. “I hope it’s not 40 years for us, but this shows us not to give up,” he said.


Rhea County Executive Billy Ray Patton called the new entrance “another step in Bryan’s commitment to retaining a top spot among small colleges in the country.”


Student Body President Rachel Welch said students are excited about the new entrance and are grateful to those who have made it possible. Echoing Sen. Yager, she called Bryan “a great marriage of academic excellence and authentic Christianity.”


To Col. John Haynes, chairman of the college board of trustees, the event shows the “push” from Don Efird, the “pull” from Dr. Livesay and the “carry” from the late trustee Marbel Hensley, whose company provided the engineering expertise for the project.

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