News Release

University Unites in Prayer at 2021 Spring Semester Dedication

Buena Vista, Va.—Last Friday, Feb. 5, President Reed N. Wilcox led the virtual 2021 Spring Semester Dedication, where he shared a message of safety and faith before the campus community joined together in prayer to offer thanks and ask for protection during the upcoming semester. 

Prior to President Wilcox’s message, Professor James Lambert, Executive Vice President of Academic Operations, spoke about self-reliance during an unprecedented year.

“Self-reliance means using the resources and opportunities available to you to create your own success,” said Lambert. “In this [pandemic] environment, we have been asked to be self-reliant in a way we did not anticipate. Yet Southern Virginia University has provided all the tools, instructions, protocols, and guides for us all to be self-reliant.”

Professor Lambert explained that with the help of the University’s COVID Resource Center and new Rapid Testing Clinic, the University has carefully calibrated performances, activities and events to minimize infection.

“We know the Four Pillars [of Protection] work,” said Professor Lambert. “Everything that has been provided works if we are self-reliant enough to follow and use these tools to succeed. It is now up to you to protect yourself and others.”

President Wilcox then elaborated on the importance of following the Four Pillars of Protection—masking, distancing, sanitizing, and reporting—by telling the story of Naaman from the Bible (2 Kings 5).

“Like Naaman, we are today asking the Lord’s blessing on us to manage, and overcome, and defeat the virus,” said President Wilcox. “We need to do our part…to do small and simple things: to wear a mask, to stay distanced, to stay clean, to report and test.”

In closing, President Wilcox bore his testimony that, like Naaman, the Lord will bless those who do the small and simple things and ask in faith.

“Please remember this, Jesus is our best and truest friend; I know that,” testified President Wilcox. “He is real. We can trust Him. And when we call upon Heavenly Father in His name, we can trust that He hears.”

Following Professor Lambert and President Wilcox’s remarks, Professor Jan-Erik Jones, who currently serves as the Buena Vista Stake President, offered a blessing for the continuation of a safe and healthy semester. 

The 2021 Spring Semester Dedication was live-streamed on Southern Virginia University’s YouTube channel.