On Thursday evening, December 1, 2022, Southwestern Adventist University (SWAU) faculty, staff, students, community members, and leaders celebrated the completion of the University’s new Outdoor Recreation Center at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Located behind Miller Residence Hall, SWAU’s new Outdoor Recreation Center is officially ready for use. During a short program, Southwestern Adventist University President Ana Patterson, Vice President for Student Services James The, Dean of Men and Outdoor Recreation Coordinator Will Iverson, and SWAU’s Student Association President Christian Tarbox addressed the audience. Afterward, Donor Bennet Spencer and his brother, Hollywood stunt double and well-known skater William R. Spencer, gave skateboarders a clinic at the new skate park.
This new recreation space has been a dream for the past 11 years of Will Iverson. During his remarks, James The thanked Dean Iverson “for challenging us to become better in what we can provide for our young men and women on this campus, for driving situations to benefit the whole-person experience at Southwestern Adventist University.”
Dean Iverson pointed out that so many memories are made outside the classroom. His dream for the space was inspired by the fact that there aren’t a lot of casual, low-key, fun areas to hang out in after hours on campus.
“Be thankful and appreciative in action,” said Christian Tarbox, as he encouraged students to “use the new courts, hang out—spend time here.” He thanked the administration for making SWAU “this much better.”
“Community” was the word that came to mind for President Patterson during the event. She said to students, “There are people who work here that want you to have community with each other, and they want to create those spaces for you. We want you to take away from Southwestern Adventist University a sense of community. That’s what you hope you get from this space.”
William R. Spencer, also known as Skate Ninja, ended the program by attempting to jump over the space’s new firepit and land on his skateboard for a grand entrance into the new skate park. After three attempts, he assured the audience, “If you want to get good at something, you just fall a bunch of times, and you just keep going.”
Gratitude for the generosity of so many for their time and means to make Dean Iverson’s dream a reality was the evening’s theme. The University thanks the following organizations, families, and individuals who made this project possible:
Ardmore Institute of Health
Bainum Family Foundation
Valley Fence Co.
SWAU Senior Class of 2022
SWAU Student Association
Miller Hall Men’s Club