FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – This year’s hero-themed Fall Kickoff, held Aug. 24, gave caped and face-painted comic heroes like Super Mama and Superman a chance to shine both on and off the dodgeball court, but most of all, it gave the Spirit of Christ a chance to shine even brighter.
During the dodgeball games, flying dodgeballs and shouts from the crowd came to an abrupt halt when one of the players injured a knee during the game. In that moment, the true spirit of Southwestern shone through as professors and students left the game behind to care for their fellow player and to make sure he was okay.
Only when it was clear the player would be alright and when several professors, staff and students worked together to take him home and make him comfortable, did the game of dodgeball continue and conclude, marking the beginning of another year where loving and serving Christ and loving and serving others will again reign supreme. Through a difficult and painful situation, Southwesterners demonstrated a true care and compassion not typical of many mainstream universities but definitely typical of Southwestern.
At the end of the tournament, which, for the first time ever, included a women’s bracket, the teamed composed of staff from the housing and president’s offices won in the men’s division and the RAC Girls won in the women’s division. Four teams competed in the women’s bracket and 14 competed in the men’s.
Student Life Events Coordinator Tyler Durham said the women’s bracket for the dodgeball tournament seemed a great success.
“We just started [the women’s bracket] and thought it went really well,” Durham said. “We’re looking forward to growing that.”
In addition to the dodgeball games, which lasted until after 10 p.m., various organizations set up fair-type booths offering information on how to get involved in a host of activities and groups both on and off campus. Staff from Southwestern’s library and writing center manned such booths and said they were glad for the chance to meet students and to tell them about the different opportunities available for them on campus.
“It’s a good opportunity,” Associate Dean of Libraries Bob Phillips said. “This is our chance to get our message out.”
Writing Center staff Helen Dent and Kathy Driver said the kickoff event gave them a chance to greet students and talk about their services as well.
“People are asking questions and wanting to know more about the Writing Center,” Driver said.
Groups such as Metochai and Brothers’ Keeper were among others to welcome the crowd of a few hundred people back to campus at the kickoff, which offered $1 per slice pizza for everyone and bounce houses for children.
Rhonda Alford and her husband Steven, a Master of Arts in Worship student, said they came last year and were looking forward to Fall Kickoff again.
“It’s a great way to meet people,” said Rhonda. “I love to watch the competition. They take that very seriously.”
The dodgeballers certainly took the games seriously but not as seriously as caring for fellow Southwesterners.