In this scripture, the Apostle Paul is giving instructions to the Galatian Christians about how to live with each other. It is a reminder that God provides the ability to deal with life’s issues and instruction that one of those empowerments is the ability to help others. Since its founding in 1857, Tennessee Wesleyan University has been dedicated to helping students live a meaningful life. Located in Athens, Tennessee, TWU provides experiences one expects from a major university with the attention and nurturing a liberal arts education offers. It is the culture of dedication to students, faculty and community that has created hope for so many in the recent months. When Hiwassee College announced their closing after 170 years, without hesitation, Tennessee Wesleyan University opened wide the doors to lend a helping hand.
It started with words of comfort and encouragement in a March 28, 2019 letter from TWU President, Dr. Harley Knowles: “a fellow United Methodist-affiliated institution, Hiwassee College made the difficult decision to close at the end of their spring semester. Upon notification of this announcement, our faculty and staff immediately began identifying ways Tennessee Wesleyan University could support their prospective and current student populations, as well as their alumni, during this transition.” The letter continues with a pledge of commitment that was put into action immediately. To date, TWU has purchased the Dental Hygiene Program to keep the vital offering in the community and brought the Upward Bound program onto their Athens campus. Specifically addressing the needs of the students, Dr. Knowles stated, “Tennessee Wesleyan welcomes all Hiwassee students, current and future, to find a new home here in Athens. There is no application deadline, and we still have institutional scholarships available to help make the college experience affordable.”
In the words of Maya Angelou, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” For which it is clear that Tennessee Wesleyan has shown they are an institution of higher education with a priority of developing future leaders to positively impact their communities, the world. In a time of significant need, Tennessee Wesleyan rose to meet the challenges of another and taught us all by example how to help those in need.