Harding Magazine

From the President

'A Great Place To Learn'

President, David B. BurksBy David B. Burks

“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.”

These words from Solomon in Psalm 127:1 quoted by Dr. Julie Hixson-Wallace, dean of the College of Pharmacy, at the dedication ceremony for the Center for Health Sciences Homecoming weekend emphasized the direction behind the construction of our new home for the Pharmacy and Physician Assistant programs.

These two academically challenging, faith-based programs emphasize community outreach and missions, benefiting both those receiving medical assistance and health care providers. The Physician Assistant Program has witnessed two classes graduate while the College of Pharmacy welcomed its inaugural class last fall.

Their beautiful, new home utilizes the latest educational technology. The patient skills center, outfitted with 10 traditional examination rooms as well as cameras, gives students opportunities to counsel and examine patients while allowing faculty members to assess the performance, either in real time or by watching digitally recorded footage. The recordings can also be broadcast to classrooms for peer assessment. Additionally, monitors and cameras in the student activities area on the second story create a virtual classroom for up to 64 by connecting one large classroom with four small breakout rooms.

It thrills me to announce that the $7,705,142 needed for this project has been given or pledged.

I am also excited about the caliber of our students. As pharmacy student Janice McKean said in her remarks at the dedication, they are “talented, intelligent and ready to serve.”

A 1990 alumna, McKean and her husband, Byron (’88), relocated their family from Wichita, Kan., to Searcy because, she said, “The positive, Christian examples make me want to be part of the program.”

Physician assistant student Sarah Spear summed up the feeling of our students when she quoted a classmate: “How blessed we are to have such a great place to learn.”

I love the spirit of cooperation I see in this building. I invite you to visit, not only at Homecoming, but anytime you have the opportunity to view firsthand our new Center for Health Sciences. May it always be used for the glory of God.

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