Southwestern Adventist University was honored to host a reception for U.S. Representative Roger Williams, R-Austin, on Wednesday, May 29, in the Larry R. Moore Nursing and Administration Building. The visit began with University President Ken Shaw welcoming the Congressman to the campus and bringing him to his office. Shaw and Williams traded baseball stories alongside parts of their life stories. Shaw asked Representative Williams to share his story centered on that tragic practice session for the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity back in 2017. Williams said that was a “life-changing” day and did not know whether he would make it out alive, but after surviving, he knows one thing for sure: “God is in charge.”
Following their meeting, nursing department chair, Dr. Kerrie Kimbrow, and Dr. Shaw gave Representative Williams a tour of the newly constructed state-of-the-art facility which concluded with a public address from Williams that centered on the economy, border patrol, and education.
Speaking on the important role of education, Williams expressed admiration of Southwestern Adventist University’s newest structure, whose primary purpose is to train nurses. “We need nurses more than ever in this country,” he said, adding that there is currently a “huge shortage.”
“We have 100,000 kids dropping out of school right here in Texas. They are losing hope because they say ‘I can’t be a doctor, I can’t be a businessman, I can’t be a lawyer.’ For a long time I have been a big proponent… of saying, ‘It is okay to be a carpenter, it is okay to be a welder, it is okay to be a nurse.’”
Williams himself can relate to going into a field he did not initially plan for. “I don’t ever remember thinking ‘I want to be a congressman,’” Williams said, “but life takes us in directions we don’t always expect.”
Williams concluded his remarks by stating that “America is the greatest country,” and Americans have the responsibility to be a “beacon” in a dark world.
To his audience at Southwestern Adventist University, which included Southwestern Adventist University faculty and staff as well as community leaders, Congressman Williams said, “I am thankful for all you do to make Texas the greatest state in America, the greatest country in the world…. When I get up to DC and talk about my district, I can talk about this great school. You all can be proud.”