Cedarville Magazine Summer 2023

2 Vibrant, Joyful Community 4 Doing Dorm Life Differently 10 Leading With Purpose 14 Behind the Scenes of Elliv 18 Making Memories 21 Community: Not Just for Undergrads COMMUNITY Cultivating SUMMER 2023 Volume 11 Issue 2

PRESIDENT’S PERSPECTIVE At Cedarville University, we talk a lot about our academic excellence and biblically faithful education that prepare our students for career success and Gospel impact. But another important element in our undergraduate culture is how much fun they have in the process. I like to say that Christians should have more fun than anyone on the planet — and we get to remember it the next day. And nowhere is that truer than here in the cornfields of Cedarville, Ohio. Whether through University-planned events or impromptu escapades in the residence halls, our students are joyfully living out their faith in genuine, vibrant community. Our undergraduate students’ 1,000 days at Cedarville are filled with events and experiences that create lasting memories and lifelong friends. The fun we have is a natural outpouring of the joy we have inside, through Christ. Anyone who says Christians are boring has never witnessed our students competing in the parking lot during Printy Wars or Lawlorpalooza, watched a Live@10, and they definitely haven't seen Elliv, our end-of-year extravaganza. In this issue of Cedarville Magazine, you’ll read all about our joyful campus community. You’ll discover some of the activities that mark our students’ 1,000 days, read how the residence hall experience builds relationships, and learn how Brian Burns ’95 and his team in Campus Experience work behind the scenes to plan events that intentionally create community. And, you’ll get a backstage pass to the aforementioned Elliv, the highlight of the year for many students. Cedarville University will always be committed to transforming lives through excellent education and intentional discipleship in submission to biblical authority. It is the hallmark of a Cedarville education, and on this we will never waver. But we are also committed to creating a fun, vibrant community where our students can celebrate the freedom they have in Christ and serve King Jesus with joy. In Christ, Thomas White President cedarville.edu/president @DrThomasWhite facebook.com/DrThomasWhite instagram.com/drthomaswhite linkedin.com/in/jthomaswhite WE HAVE AN EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT ONE THOUSAND DAYS TRANSFORMED: THE CAMPAIGN FOR CEDARVILLE. READMORE ON PAGE 26! On the cover: Freshmen and sophomores enjoying SoFresh, the annual spring event for underclassmen. The 2023 theme was “The Festival.” 2 | Cedarville Magazine Cedarville Magazine

IN EVERY ISSUE 24 CHAPEL NOTES 26 ADVANCING CEDARVILLE 30 CAMPUS NEWS 32 YELLOW JACKET SPORTS 36 IN CLOSING Editor Janice (Warren) Supplee ’86 Managing Editor Caroline (Tomlinson) Kimball ’22 Creative Director Chad Jackson ’05 Graphic Designer Craig Salisbury Photographer Scott Huck Copy Editor Michele (Cummings) Solomon ’91 Administration President Thomas White Senior Advisor to the President Loren Reno ’70 Chief of Staff Zach Bowden Vice President for Academics Thomas Mach ’88 Vice President for Advancement Will Smallwood Vice President for Business and Chief Financial Officer Christopher Sohn Vice President for Enrollment Management Scott Van Loo ’98 Vice President for Marketing and Communications Janice (Warren) Supplee ’86 Vice President for Student Life and Christian Ministries Jonathan Wood Athletic Director Christopher Cross Our Mission Cedarville University transforms lives through excellent education and intentional discipleship in submission to biblical authority. Our Vision For the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ Cedarville Magazine is published spring, summer, and fall and mailed free of charge to alumni and supporters of Cedarville University. 1-800-CEDARVILLE • cedarville.edu Direct inquiries and address changes to: Cedarville Magazine Cedarville University 251 N. Main St., Cedarville, OH 45314 cedarville.edu/magazine magazine@cedarville.edu 1-888-CEDARVILLE READ ONLINE! Visit cedarville.edu/ magazineSU23 on your computer or mobile device. Summer 2023 Volume 11 Issue 2 FEATURES 2 VIBRANT, JOYFUL COMMUNITY THOMAS WHITE Cedarville University isn’t just about rigorous academics. We are also all about having fun while we seek to know God, grow in community, and make disciples. As believers, we have the gift of grace and freedom in Christ, and because of that we can experience the joy of living in community with God’s people. 4 DOING DORM LIFE DIFFERENTLY CHARLOTTE BURCHAM, MMIN ’21 One of the most tangible examples of campus community is found in the residence halls. Whether it be planned hall events, spontaneous trips to Young’s Dairy, or the many late nights talking about life, residence life is an adventure. 10 LEADING WITH PURPOSE CAROLINE (TOMLINSON) KIMBALL ’22 Year after year, Student Government Association (SGA) officers model what servant leadership looks like. From working tirelessly behind the scenes to leading SGA chapels, this team of leaders is not looking for recognition, but rather to serve the student body and advance the mission and vision of Cedarville. 14 BEHIND THE SCENES OF ELLIV HEIDIE (RAINE) SENSEMAN ’23 The lights go up, the curtain is pulled back, and the performer takes the stage. But what thousands of students see on the Elliv stage every year is the culmination of hundreds of hours of work, preparation, and a whole lot of nerves. 18 MAKING MEMORIES The student experience wouldn’t be what it is without the hard work of hundreds of students who are part of Campus Experience. This team rallies together to put on Getting Started Weekend, ALT Nights, Campus Christmas, and so much more, working together for the greater purpose of cultivating community. 21 COMMUNITY: NOT JUST FOR UNDERGRADS JEFF GILBERT ’87 The power of Cedarville’s vibrant community does not merely exist among undergraduate students. Faculty and staff work tirelessly to ensure that every student, including graduate students in the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Pharmacy programs, understands what it means to be a part of the Cedarville family. And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun. – Ecclesiastes 8:15 Cedarville Magazine | 1

VIBRANT, JOYFUL COMMUNITYBY THOMAS WHI TE At Cedarville University, we have three areas of focus. First, we focus on biblical faithfulness. That’s most important. Without biblical faithfulness, we are just another school. Second, we focus on academic excellence. Some people would have you think that you can’t do both. We believe that is a false dichotomy. A university is at its best when it has a unified worldview focused on pursuing truth, and since ultimate truth is found in Jesus — the Way, the Truth, and the Life — these two in balance provide a complete education for the mind and the soul. The purpose of this article, and to some degree this entire magazine, is our third area of emphasis — fun. We articulate fun as vibrant, joyful, Christian community. Why do we place this level of emphasis on vibrant, joyful community? Because it honors Christ and demonstrates consistently living out our Christian faith. You don’t have to look very far in modern society to find 2 | Cedarville Magazine

people seeking to tear others down, trying to spoil everyone’s joy through legalism, or being the stereotypical curmudgeon. Twitter, blogs, and the internet in general provide endless examples, but make no mistake, these killjoys exist in person, too. Such a disposition contradicts Scripture. We are to rejoice always, and again Paul writes, rejoice. We are to do all things without grumbling or disputing. We are to consider others before ourselves, looking out not only for our own interest but for the interest of others. We should exhibit humility, recognizing that pride comes before the fall. The last will be first, and the first will be last. Those who want to be great in the Kingdom should seek to serve others. Live out these biblical principles and you will find an authentically Christian, vibrant, joyful community. A place with this culture will be fun. If we can model and create a culture where no one takes themselves too seriously — a place where everyone demonstrates humility, recognizing our equality as created in the image of God and our joint need for forgiveness on the level ground at the foot of the cross — then we can create a healthy environment that fosters learning and spiritual growth while having fun. At Cedarville, we number our days. Psalm 90:12 states, “Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” We want to live with biblical wisdom, so we remind ourselves often of the concept of “1,000 days.” Three years — approximately 1,000 days — shows up repeatedly in Scripture. While we have most students for four years, they go home for Christmas and summer breaks, which equates to approximately 1,000 days on campus. Consider these biblical references: § The Israelites spent three years in the Babylonians’ educational system to become productive citizens. We desire our students to spend their 1,000 days learning a biblical worldview to be productive Kingdom citizens. § Jesus spent three years living life alongside the disciples. Cedarville is a place where godly faculty and staff mentor and disciple our students, eating meals together, attending sporting events, and walking with our students during their 1,000 days. § Paul prepared for three years for his missionary calling. Our students spend their 1,000 days aligning their Godgiven gifts with their God-given passions to live out His vocational calling for their lives. We want these 1,000 days of intentional preparation to be the most fun these students have ever had. From Lawlorpalooza and Printy Wars to Young’s Jersey Dairy ice cream runs, these students should be making memories and friendships that last a lifetime. Arguably the most depressing book in the Bible is Ecclesiastes, and even that book talks about joy. § Ecclesiastes 2:23 states that there is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This is from the hand of God. § Ecclesiastes 8:15 commends joy. § Ecclesiastes 9:7 and 9 tell us to enjoy life. If Solomon can commend joy amid telling us that everything is vanity, then Christians redeemed by King Jesus, forgiven of our sins, and assured of a resurrection and eternal life with Him should be the most joyful of all people. We have nothing to fear. We have been forgiven and adopted into a family full of brothers and sisters who share the same Spirit living within them. This shared Spirit allows genuine koinonia, or fellowship, to occur in ways that some humans will never experience. Christian, you should have joy. The world should look at us with wonder about how we are able to have so much fun and joy in our lives. The genuine Christian should seek to build up and not tear down, to live a life of humility and fun, to encourage others without grumbling and complaining, and to live every day in the reality of the forgiveness of Christ. Doesn’t this type of community sound wonderful? That’s why at Cedarville we emphasize vibrant, joyful community. We should have more fun and laugh more than any other group of humans. Our joy flows from living out our theology and creates the best possible environment for educational and spiritual growth. Our greenhouse of growth is fun, and, Lord willing, we will take an attitude of joy with us wherever God calls us to stand for the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ. Thomas White is President of Cedarville University. He earned his PhD in systematic theology from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Cedarville Magazine | 3


In July of 2018, I was packing up a moving truck and relocating from my home in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Cedarville, Ohio, to begin work as a Resident Director (RD) at Cedarville University. I was excited, nervous, and thankful for a job opportunity that would allow me to focus my time and energy on discipleship in a university context. As I began my time as a Resident Director in Willetts Hall, I was thankful to see that Residence Life represents many of the things I want my life to be known for: love for Jesus and His people, purposeful relationships, and fun in all of it. Being a Resident Director and now the Dean of Women at Cedarville University has given me the opportunity to walk alongside students as they also navigate their own questions about faith and life, and it is a true joy! Little did I know that when I stepped onto campus as a Resident Director, I would be signing up for five years of fun, laughter, memories, and all kinds of shenanigans. Willetts, or any residence hall for that matter, wouldn’t accomplish what it does if it weren’t for the Resident Assistants (RAs) who truly bring the fun to residence life. Every Monday night I welcomed the Willetts RAs into my apartment for our weekly meeting. Snacks were always Cedarville Magazine | 5

present as we shared about our weeks, studied the Word together, and planned the next Willetts event. And we always made space for laughter. One evening during this meeting I received a knock on my door. We were greeted by a group of girls, Bluetooth speaker in hand, dancing. And we promptly joined in. And that wasn’t out of the ordinary. Living in the apartment connected to Willetts gave me a birds-eye view of what fun community looked like. More than once I’d get the frantic phone call from a student asking for a 10-minute curfew extension (I’ve learned the Taco Bell drivethru notoriously takes longer than expected.). I’d see the awkward first encounters between the “brother” and “sister” halls turn into fruitful friend groups that spontaneously took trips to Young’s Dairy for ice cream or hikes at John Bryan State Park. On any given day I found myself meeting with students at Rinnova, the campus coffee shop, to discuss life with all its ups and downs — that first date, the camping trip they are planning, the job they are applying for, or what they are learning about the Lord. I realized very early on in my time as Resident Director that Cedarville was different. These students love to have fun, pour into one another, and pursue Christ. Every day brought new conversations and opportunities to walk with students and provide counsel as they navigated their lives. The desire of Residence Life is to cultivate this culture by leading others well in our conversations and actions as well as providing space for people to laugh, have fun, build relationships, and glorify God through all of it. I have watched the impact of Residence Life in the lives of students as they grow in spiritual and emotional maturity as well as expanding their social spheres. These aspects of a student’s life are deeply impacted by living in a residence hall on campus, getting meals with others, and enjoying all aspects of campus life as they live in community. The RAs provide multiple opportunities for fellowship by planning weekly events and several all-residence hall events throughout the school year. HalloWilletts is an annual event where students are encouraged to use their creativity by dressing up in costumes, eating candy, and dancing. Every year the Willetts residents show up and have loads of laughter I realized very early on in my time as Resident Director that Cedarville was different. These students love to have fun, pour into one another, and pursue Christ. 6 | Cedarville Magazine

and fun just being together and acting silly. Students who take advantage of these opportunities are always grateful for the relationships they build and the sheer amount of fun they are able to participate in! A few other allresidence hall events the RAs and I planned included Willetts Water Wars, dodgeball tournaments, worship nights with our “brother” residence halls, Bagels for Finals, and many more. Residence halls at Cedarville make it difficult to not have fun. Lawlor and Printy Halls are famous for their Gridiron Classic flag football game as they go head-to-head with The Hill and Maddox Hall. Deck the Halls, an annual event at the end of the fall semester, is another all-residence hall, all-campus event that allows residence halls to decorate their space to tell a story. The themes I’ve seen still make me laugh. Whether it was the story of a wrestler or a Cinco de Mayo party, I’ve never been disappointed by the creativity my girls and other residence halls produce. While fun is a top priority in the residence halls, they wouldn’t have the profound impact that they do if it weren't for the spiritual investment of the RAs and RDs across campus. Students grow in their spiritual and emotional maturity as they live their life in proximity to one another. RAs take special care to facilitate hall Bible studies, prayer nights, and worship nights and engage in intentional discipleship conversations in hopes of fostering relationships between students. I recall countless stories from RAs of how they witnessed the encouragement of the Lord as they engaged in spontaneous worship nights in their halls or had spiritual conversations during hall dinners. As students actively engage in these moments, they are being shaped by the Word and their interactions with others to more faithfully pursue Jesus and apply His Word to their lives. Living in close proximity to hundreds of people in a similar life stage presents an array of opportunities for fun and laughter as well as frustration and difficulty. Many of the most encouraging conversations I have had with students are based on their living situation and how they are dealing with the newness, and sometimes difficulty, of sharing their space, maybe for the first time. Learning how to engage with people who are di fferent from themselves provides students with the opportunity to help others follow Jesus. These types of conversations help students navigate how to have healthy relationships, how to cultivate selflessness, and, ultimately, what it means to love another person the way Jesus loves us. These everyday moments help shape a person’s thoughts and reorient them toward the truth of the Gospel for their own lives. All of the little moments and big events focus on providing outlets for fellowship, laughter, spiritual formation, and a little friendly competition. Each residence hall is unique in its opportunities for students, and it is a joy to see the creativity the RDs and RAs put into planning events for their particular halls. From pancake breakfasts to relay races to writing notes of encouragement to shaved ice trucks to sharing bagels and coffee together. Residence hall leaders are purposeful in their planning and seek to engage with students and provide avenues to build lasting and meaningful relationships. God does amazing work in the hearts of students during their time at Cedarville, and those mundane moments, fun activities, and deep conversations that happen when students live 24/7 in community become rich soil for inspiring life change, creating lasting memories, and forging lifelong friendships. What a privilege to be a part of Residence LIFE at Cedarville! Charlotte Burcham, MMin ’21 serves as Dean of Women at Cedarville University. Cedarville Magazine | 7

Whether it’s the first weekend of freshman year or the last days in April of senior year, Cedarville students are never without things to do, events to attend, and fun to be had. This is just a glimpse of a student’s 1,000 days as a Yellow Jacket. 1,000DAYSSO MUCH FUN. SO LITTLE TIME. AUG SEP OCT NOV Getting Started Weekend Homecoming Moonlight Madness Gridiron Classic Lawlorpalooza Printy Wars ALT Movie Nights 8 | Cedarville Magazine

DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY Commencement Campus Christmas 100 Days Party Live@10 Elliv Junior/Senior SoFresh Christmas Chapel Deck the Halls Cedarville Magazine | 9

Cedarville's campus community would not be possible without the leadership of our students, whether that be in public for others to see or behind the scenes and barely noticed. Cedarville students are amazing! But how does Cedarville consistently find and equip confident and competent student leaders? First, we benefit from the strong families and parents who build into these students for the first 18 years of their lives. Then, when they arrive at Cedarville, it’s the mentoring from godly faculty members. It’s the life-on-life discipleship. But it’s also the model that students see every Friday on the chapel stage — the student leaders who are a part of the Student Government Association (SGA). LEADING WITH 10 | Cedarville Magazine

PURPOSE When you ask an SGA President — current or former — about why they ran for office, they quickly talk about the SGA President from their freshman year and what a profound impact he or she had. Every year, students witness what servant leadership looks like by seeing what SGA does for the student body. The example that SGA sets inspires students to lead in the residence halls, discipleship groups, or even pursue SGA leadership themselves. BEHIND THE SCENES But what is SGA, what exactly do they do, and how do they inspire student leaders? Many students don’t understand all that goes into serving on SGA. Some may say, “They’re just the face of the student body” or “They really don’t do anything.” But SGA is much more than what meets the eye: much more than faces, much more than titles, and much more than what students see in SGA chapel each week. SGA leaders spend the school year setting an example of what servant leadership looks like by offering their time to students and administration to help build community across campus. “It means being in about six to eight hours of meetings a week. It looks like interpersonal communication and interacting with people almost constantly,” noted Sage Showers ’23, 2022–2023 SGA president. “We get to serve as the glue and the connecting point between different groups across campus. It’s one of the most rewarding, but also probably most invisible, parts of the job.” But it’s not just the President and Vice President. SGA is made up of nine positions. These include President, Vice President, Chaplain, Events Director, Involvement Directors, Campus Community Directors, and the Worship Band Leader. The team supports the campus community, encourages the student body, and provides cohesion between groups across campus. The President and Vice President lead the team and communicate with administration. The Chaplain delivers a sermon each week to the student body. The Worship Band Leader leads the student body in worship at the start of every SGA chapel. The Events Director creates memories like Elliv, BY CAROL INE (TOML INSON) KIMBALL ’ 22 Cedarville Magazine | 11

the end-of-year student talent show, and Junior/Senior. The Involvement Directors lead the dozens of student organizations on campus. The Campus Community Directors put on annual events like The Banana Project — an event in which thousands of bananas are offered to the student body with the requirement of leaving an encouraging note for someone else. These student leaders work together to create the campus community that students have come to expect. Though many of the roles are responsible for creating experiences for the students, the SGA President and Vice President have the unique responsibility of serving as the liaison between students and administration. There is so much work in the SGA office that goes unnoticed. Hundreds of emails, dozens of meetings — it can be exhausting at times. But it’s the impact on the student body that encourages the SGA team. “Thei r job i s to represent the student body to administrators. They meet with Jon Wood (Vice President for Student Life and Christian Ministries) weekly to share what they’re hearing from the student body,” said Brian Burns ’95, Director of Campus Experience. “They also represent Cedarville to the students. Maybe it’s updating the students on how we’ve changed our parking policy or Residence Life.” SGA serves administration by communicating weekly with the students by email and in SGA chapel, delivering announcements to boost student morale, and supporting the mission and vision of Cedarville. The goal of SGA is not to promote personal agendas or combat administration. Instead, the SGA President works closely with administrators like Burns and Wood. This close working relationship not only benefits the student body as a whole, but it builds leaders out of those humbly willing to learn. What this looks like day to day has changed over the years and looks different with each President. Regardless of how they choose to lead, you can’t talk to an SGA President without the words “servant leadership” coming to mind. Whether they say it directly, or it’s delicately laced between their words, this is truly the one thing each SGA President has in common. While most students only see the SGA President on the chapel stage once a week, this represents just one small piece of a much larger commitment. “I think about 10% of SGA was seen on the chapel stage. The other 90% really was behind the scenes on vision casting, talking with the administration, leading the team, and seeking solutions for the student body,” explained Ryan Smith ’19, 2018–2019 SGA president. ON THE STAGE In addition to weekly meetings with the SGA team, administration, and different groups across campus, the SGA President and Vice President have the weekly responsibility of leading SGA chapel, perhaps the most visible part of the SGA experience. The first time an SGA officer steps onto the chapel stage is before they’re even elected. SGA election chapel in the spring gives running parties the chance to introduce themselves. Once elected, it becomes a weekly responsibility. The Chaplain delivers a sermon every week, while the President SGA campaigns all boil down to the same purpose — advancing the mission of the Gospel first, encouraging students, and supporting the vision of Cedarville. 12 | Cedarville Magazine

and Vice President deliver announcements. One of the most unique and memorable chapels of the year is Live@10 — the late-night, early morning show that takes hundreds of hours to produce. Rahul Jacob ’17, MBA ’21, started Live@10 during his year as SGA president, 2016–2017. “I had this idea of a late-night talk show for the chapel hour. Nothing like this had ever been done before, but I wanted the student body to laugh together,” said Jacob. Live@10 is no small undertaking. It takes script writing, coordinating with production services, receiving approval from administration, not to mention the dozens of meetings leading up to this one-hour event. “When you add it all together, it was probably over 1,000 hours of everyone working tirelessly to pull this off. The result was better than we could have imagined. Just a full hour of students having fun and bonding together over shared experiences and a love for their community,” added Jacob. This show is co-hosted by the SGA president and University President Thomas White. With skits, videos, music, and jokes, Live@10 always leaves students with a smile on their face. While SGA chapel is fun, and Live@10 creates long-lasting memories, they wouldn’t exist without the tender hearts and passion for people that every SGA leader possesses. AT THE HEART Beyond the work that they do and the positions they hold, the greatest way that SGA impacts students is through the character of those who serve in these positions. Each SGA leader has had different reasons for seeking office. They had unique slogans like “Let’s Get Real,” or “Better Together,” or “Press In,” to name a few. But SGA campaigns all boil down to the same purpose — advancing the mission of the Gospel first, encouraging students, and supporting the vision of Cedarville. Getting up on stage once a week can look glamorous to some, but that’s not what you hear when you talk to SGA team members. “Sometimes leading can feel very lonely. I’ve learned that to be visible also means to be attentive. You can’t just be a face in a position, you have to be a person in a position. And that sometimes means many late nights and early mornings,” commented Showers. “I ran for SGA because I love Cedarville and I love people. My ultimate ‘why’ is to serve.” Jake Johnson ’21, 2020–2021 SGA President, stated, “It was during Live@10 my freshman year when I first became interested in SGA. The President had a unique opportunity to bring joy and unity to the student body.” Jacob added, “I wanted to give the students an opportunity to be real with one another, to laugh, and build relationships.” For the SGA leaders, it’s not about personal fame. It’s not about hidden agendas. “We as SGA are to manifest and encourage Cedarville’s core values. That is how we have success,” noted Smith. When asked about his ‘why,’ Smith said, “For me, success was defined not by numbers but by being an example of someone who loves God, loves others, lives with integrity, and works with excellence.” When you talk to SGA leaders, their love for Cedarville is clearly evident. They didn’t pursue leadership because they were popular or because they wanted recognition. They did so because they humbly signed up for the task of loving God, loving others, having integrity, and working with excellence. SGA not only makes leaders out of the students who serve, but it inspires the next class of students by modeling what humble leadership looks like both on and off the stage. Caroline (Tomlinson) Kimball ’22 serves as Managing Editor of Cedarville Magazine. Cedarville Magazine | 13

BEHIND THE SCENES OF ELLIV Gabe Cherry ’24 opens the Elliv Board of Directors meeting with an announcement: “We hit our 300th to-do list task for Elliv this week!” The whole room cheers. Most clap, and one slaps his hands against the table. Two high-five. Cherry nods to the screen at the front of the conference room where he’s projecting the 2023 Elliv to-do list. Colorcoded tasks and deadlines fill the page: Open Talent Auditions — Nov. 29, Song List Approved — Jan. 16, Send Acceptance/ Rejection Emails — Jan. 20, Record Scratch Demos — Feb. 27, Send Backing Tracks to Productive Services —Mar. 6. By the end of the meeting, the number of tasks has risen to 314. “I’ll be looking through the system to check on everyone’s to-do’s this week, so make sure you update those,” Cherry adds. “Keep up the great work. The show is only six weeks away!” EARLY PREPARATIONS AND LIFE AS SGA EVENTS DIRECTOR Elliv is Cedarville’s annual live, student-run talent and awards show. With musical acts, student awards, costumes, jokes, and so much more, Elliv is not just any event on campus. It is THE event of the year. Not surprisingly, it requires such extensive planning that preparations for the next year’s show begin before the current year’s show debuts. Elliv is a byproduct of hours of hard work by the Student Government Association (SGA) Events Director. Early each spring semester, applications open for the following year’s SGA positions. The SGA Events Director, one such position, carries the responsibility of planning three major campus events: Mission Impossible, a high-energy campuswide scavenger hunt in the fall semester; Live@10, a Saturday BY HE ID I E (RAINE) SENSEMAN ’ 23 14 | Cedarville Magazine

Night Live-style show during the chapel hour in the fall semester; and Elliv. Cherry was hired as the 2022–2023 SGA Event s Director in early April 2022 and quickly got to work. He spent that April shadowing Nicole Seagraves ’22, the 2022 SGA Events Director, to learn how to manage rehearsals, organize tasks, pick a theme, select a Board of Directors, and much more. “I sat in on last year’s tech and dress rehearsals and just took it all in,” Cherry said. “It was intimidating. I realized how massive of a task I had ahead of me as the next Elliv director.” Cherry averaged 10 to 12 hours of work a week, but in the weeks leading up to ma jor event s , he easily doubled or tripled that number. The week of Live@10, Cherry clocked 32 hours in addition to his typical academic courseload. The week of Elliv was close to a 40-hour work week. Cherry also worked closely with Brian Burns ’95, Director of Campus Experience, and Jon Wood, Vice President for Student Life and Christian Ministries. Burns is more involved in the day-to-day planning process, whereas Wood handles tasks like song and script approval. “Brian and I have biweekly meetings to track planning progress, but I probably ask him a question two or three times a week,” Cherry explained. “I really lean into his leadership.” BOARD OF DIRECTORS Selecting a Board of Directors is perhaps the most important task for any Elliv Director. While exact roles may evolve from year to year, the Board typically includes a Logistics Director, Wardrobe Director, Marketing Director, Awards Director, Script Director, and Music Director. Cherry began pulling together his Board of Directors in early October 2022, nearly seven months before the 2023 show. The Board begins meeting weekly at the start of the spring semester to brainstorm, troubleshoot, track progress, and share planning updates. “The first thing I want to make clear about leading Elliv is that I don’t do it alone,” Cherry shared. “I get too much credit for the show. Sure, I’m signing off on decisions, but a lot of people beyond just me are doing the work.” In those months leading up to the show, the Elliv Script Director works with his committee to write every word that is said on the Elliv stage. In weekly writing sessions, the team develops jokes and skits similar in concept to Saturday Night Live. Another key figure, the Music Director, works with the SGA Events Director to select songs with that year’s theme in mind. Tim Craig ’23, this year’s music director, was especially busy because the 2023 “Illuminate”-themed show featured 116 musical participants — more than ever before. Craig managed 11 acts that collectively contained 16 songs, three mashups, a 30-person symphony, a choir double the size of last year’s, and an encore. Each act has a distinct style guide put together by the Wardrobe Director and his committee. The Awards Director works with his committee to develop Elliv’s award show elements, creating awards like the Salt and Light Award to honor students who selflessly serve those around them and the Wingman Award to recognize an excellent friend on campus. Historically, the awards committee has painted and distributed small rocks —modeled after the Cedarville Rock — to the winners during the show. Cedarville Magazine | 15

AUDIO-TECH Elliv’s Board of Directors builds the show’s concepts and content, but Elliv wouldn’t be possible without Production Services Group (PSG) staff and student workers. “You can’t overemphasize the work they do,” Cherry said. Each year, spring chapel concludes the Wednesday before Elliv so that on Thursday and Friday, PSG members can set the stage. Steve Brock ’93, Assistant Director for Live Production, has been the mastermind behind Elliv’s stage design and lighting for several years. Elliv’s audio, lights, and backstage communications have historically been led by a full-time Cedarville staff member, but for the 2023 performance, a student — Evan Warner ’24 — ran the front-of-house booth for the show. Dave Hoecke ’90, Cedarville’s Media Production and Distribution Coordinator, assisted with audio, Andrew Glessner ’24 managed video recording, and Jen Kroyer ’24 managed the stage crew. BEHIND THE CURTAIN: THE FINAL REHEARSALS In the days leading up to this top-secret show, Elliv participants are sprinting to make final touches. They’re setting the stage, finalizing click tracks, programming patches for pedal boards and pianos, reviewing scripts, and rehearsing, rehearsing, rehearsing. Tech rehearsal takes place the Thursday before Elliv from 5 p.m. to curfew. That night, for the first time, all cast and tech members come together in the Jeremiah Chapel to troubleshoot technical issues and bring together the show’s many elements. This year’s tech rehearsal begins with each musical act taking the stage to adjust their in-ear monitor mixes. In-ears are special headphones that allow musicians to single out and adjust the volume of individual instruments according to their needs. At Elliv’s tech rehearsal, this “mixing” looks like one musician playing their instrument while every other musician points up or down to signal their volume preferences to the sound technician. While these in-ear mixes get set, other members of PSG are testing staging elements: lowering lampshades from the catwalks to practice for one act’s “floating lamps” visual, using special GAFF stage tape to secure musical cables, and re-setting orchestra seats. At the same time, castmates whose acts are not actively rehearsing sit in the chapel’s seats, eat snacks from the Elliv “food room” across the hall, and cheer for the musician actively testing their parts. The acts run through each song twice after finalizing their in-ear mixes. When Caroline Canning ’25 sings a whistle note in her group’s first run-through of The Climb by Miley Cyrus, the whole audience of castmates screams and applauds. “I'm so excited,” Cherry says to a group of castmates, “because I know that the applause will be 2,000 times that on the actual night of Elliv.” During each act, Craig works with Cherry and Burns to make staging decisions. Craig waves guitarists further up the stage and encourages act members to be expressive in their performances. “You look about 80% smaller on stage, so you have to act 90% bigger,” Craig says. The tech rehearsal doesn’t include all choreographed elements, but the musicians tend to mark out their larger movements. Some musicians, though, perform all out even during tech runs. Paige Senseman ’24 struts down from her platform for an electric guitar solo center stage. Tim Barnes ’24 dances his way to the front of the stage as the buzz of his harmonica hits the mic. Meanwhile, members of the script writing committee work in the wings of the chapel stage with Elliv's hosts, Caleb Stechschulte ’23 and Haven Sidell ’23. Another skit member is costumed as a tree, her arms out to the side in large “branch” tubes as the trio practices delivering one of the 2023 skits: a 16 | Cedarville Magazine

rendition of American poet Walt Whitman’s “O Captain! My Captain!” retitled “O Possum! My Possum!" in reference to a day in early February when Cedarville students gathered around a tree near the Centennial Library to observe a large opossum climbing through the tree’s branches. The doors to the chapel remain locked for the whole evening to prevent students from peering in. “We don’t even want to prop the doors for quick snack runs or bathroom breaks,” Burns reminds the cast midway through rehearsal. “We need to preserve the magic for the night of the show.” The evening after tech rehearsal, everyone returns to the chapel at 5 p.m. for dress rehearsal to run through the show twice, with no interruptions, as if they were performing in front of a live audience. This is the last opportunity for Elliv members to troubleshoot problems and refine their performance. After Carissa Johnson ’23, Emily Campbell ’24, and Noelle Norman ’23 finish the first run through of their Adele mashup, they decide to eliminate elbow-high white gloves from their costume, leaving them in black gowns and pearls. During the next act — a rendition of What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction — the vocalists have issues with the timekeeping “click” that plays in the background of everyone’s in-ear mix. “Was stage presence there?” Cherry asks, out of breath from having just sang and danced for the high-energy act. “My ears were off.” Then, midway through the encore, Kroyer runs on stage to coil a loose cable that a musician had almost tripped over. These issues can feel discouraging, but the dress rehearsal helps castmates identify and solve them before the live performance. After the first run through, Burns and Mindy May, Associate Vice President of Student Development and Dean of Students, call each act to the front of the chapel individually to give performance notes: Interact more with the soloists. Great job on the piano slides. Try not to play with your inears. Make your claps bigger. Freeze when the lights go black. With these performance notes in mind, the cast resets to begin their final run-through. Nerves are high. The energy, despite the late night, electrifies the room. Everyone leaves at curfew, knowing that the next time they reconvene, it’ll be showtime. THE HEART BEHIND THE SHOW Why dedicate over a year of preparation time, thousands of dollars, and an incalculable amount of creative energy to one Elliv performance? For Cherry, Elliv is much more than a show — it’s an opportunity to edify and encourage the student body. “Every time we’re planning an event in Campus Experience, we ask ourselves, ‘why are we doing this?’” Cherry explained. “For Elliv, the answer is simple. We want to give people an opportunity to celebrate the student body.” The last campuswide event before graduation, Elliv provides a final opportunity for students to make a memory together. And students continually flock toward the opportunity, with hundreds applying to participate and even more buying tickets to attend. “The student interest and participation put it in perspective for me,” Cherry shared. “It’s such a big deal that people want to do this. I think we all feel the community Elliv creates.” And indeed, after months of meetings, brainstorming sessions, and rehearsals, Elliv’s preparations culminate in that one moment. The lights dim, the curtains pull back, the music track clicks, and the mics raise. It’s show time. Heidie (Raine) Senseman ’23 is a recent Cedarville English graduate. Nerves are high. The energy, despite the late night, electrifies the room. Cedarville Magazine | 17

Q: How did you get started with Campus Experience? A: That’s a long story! There are actually five men — plus my mother — who played a role in my journey here. I was a student-worker in what was then called Campus Activities, serving with Dick Walker ’74. My time with him allowed me to see the ministry and career opportunities that were available. Years later, after returning to Cedarville as a staff member, God used several campus leaders at just the right time to challenge me to pursue new opportunities in this field. This culminated when the Campus Experience office was created, and I was given the opportunity to serve as its first Director. But it was my mom who was the biggest influence in my life and encouraged me to work in student life at a university. Students may not even realize it, but behind every fun, crazy, and wild event they enjoy on campus is a team of hundreds of staff members and volunteers working tirelessly to make it happen. And that team is led by Brian Burns ’95, Director of Campus Experience, who is living out his passion for people. Burns has served at Cedarville University since 2001, in roles as diverse as Advancement grant coordinator to resident director. His calling has always been service, but it was in 2016 when God led him to his current position that he discovered a platform for serving the entire University community. Cedarville Magazine asked Burns to share his journey and explain how the Campus Experience office at Cedarville enriches a students’ 1,000 days on campus. MAKING MEMORIES 18 | Cedarville Magazine

When I was a student, it was obvious that I found more joy in serving and planning than I did in studying. My mom repeatedly said, “You should do what Dick Walker does; it is the perfect fit for you.” The wisdom of mothers is profound, and she has been one of my biggest encouragers as I serve in this position. Q: What other names has Campus Experience gone by? What other changes have you seen? A: This area has changed names and organization structure over the years to best meet the needs of the University as it grew. It was originally Campus Activities and then Student Life Programs. In 2016, Student Life Programs merged with Event Services to become Campus Experience. One major change Campus Experience has seen is in innovative technology. I want Campus Experience to be a place that encourages and demands innovation but also allows and expects mistakes. Our new Creative Solutions group has developed software and technical solutions for our team. They have developed the Smart Events at CU platform to track event attendance and provide our team with data that helps us understand the student body. Students use the app to check in to events, which helps us determine how many students are engaging with us and which ones aren’t. It can help keep a student from slipping through the cracks. The Academic Division will also use this data to determine how event attendance and involvement affect student retention. Q: What are the roles within Campus Experience? A: The Campus Experience office is unique in that it serves many different needs on campus from the following groups: § Information Group – Serves as the face and voice of Cedarville University. We manage and operate the Campus Experience office (20 students). § Rinnova Coffee – An authentic coffee house with gross annual sales of $380,000 (30 students). § Campus Activity Board (CAB) – Develops and builds campus culture through events like ALT Nights and Campus Christmas (21 students). § Student Government Association (SGA) – Serves as the voice of the student body. They also are the voice of the administration to the students and develop and strengthen campus morale (10 paid students, 300 volunteers). § Class Council – Fulfills SGA’s purpose by fostering distinct class identity (16 students). § Operations Group – Makes events and programs possible by helping with set-up and tear-down. (20 students). § Creative Solutions Group – Supports the mission of Campus Experience by driving innovation across the organization, developing and maintaining solutions, and encouraging creative thinking (12 students). Q: What is the driving passion or philosophy of Campus Experience at Cedarville? A: Campus Experience’s mission is to support the mission and vision of Cedarville University. We provide services, environments, and opportunities for all Cedarville University guests (students, faculty, staff, and outside guests) to have a positive and influential campus experience. Our common purpose is, “We create opportunities for others to create moments.” Therefore, we view people as our guests. This includes the internal population of students, faculty, and staff, as well as the external population of our summer guests, parents, and the community. We embrace each day with a Bravo Zulu mindset. Bravo Zulu is a U.S. Navy term that means ‘well done.’ Having a Bravo Zulu or “BZ” mindset means we have a culture that provides extraordinary effort and strives for excellence. Q: What are your favorite memories? A: There are so many, but three events stand out year after year: Getting Started Weekend, Campus Christmas, and Elliv. Getting Started is when we welcome new students and their families to campus in August. I love to watch as 400500 student-volunteers show up at 7 a.m. — lining the streets, waving pool noodles, holding signs, shouting encouragement — to welcome freshmen to campus. I get on a golf cart and just drive around watching their smiling faces. It’s fun to see parents amazed to not have to lift a finger to get their car unpacked. We want to welcome students with energy and acclimate them so they feel like they’re home. We want to overwhelm families with who Cedarville is. For Campus Christmas, we prepare for two weeks, staging decorations and getting ready. Then, in one night, we have about 90 students working together to transform campus. This year we hung 3,000 snowballs from the Stevens Student Center ceiling in about three hours. I love seeing the students working together, Christmas music blaring. We have four lifts Cedarville Magazine | 19

going up and down; we call it the lift ballet. Then we moved to the Dixon Ministry Center, Center for Biblical and Theological Studies, Chick-fil-A, and the dining hall, transforming them as well. We were all done by 3 a.m. I’m getting too old for it, but it’s a lot of fun. My favorite part may be sitting in the SSC at 9 the next morning watching students come in to see it for the first time, taking out their phones to take pictures to send to their parents. Finally, Elliv, is our end-of-year celebratory, high-energy show with music and dancing. It’s put on by 160 students, and I get to walk with them and facilitate it, asking “what if?” — “I see what you’re doing, but what if you try this?” We want to show that as Christians we can have fun, but not in a way that’s contrary to the Word of God. It’s a time to celebrate the year, and it invigorates the students for final exams. I want students to walk away saying, “I’m glad I’m at Cedarville.” Q: What role does Campus Experience play on campus? How does Campus Experience contribute to students’ 1,000 days? A: Campus Experience touches all students during their 1,000 days at Cedarville University. This starts at the very beginning, Getting Started Weekend, when our team welcomes and acclimates the new Yellow Jackets to campus. Then we have the privilege of planning events for students all the way through their 1,000 days. We’re helping create lasting memories and lifelong friends. Beyond events, the full-time Campus Experience team seeks to equip and engage our student-teammates with leadership development, professional opportunities, and especially discipleship. In doing this, our student-teammates then take what they have learned and influence their friends in their major, residence hall, or friend group. We take the 1,000 days we have with our students seriously, and our goal is to be intentional with anyone God brings across our path. Q: What makes a successful student event? How do you measure success? What needs to happen? A: Successful events are all about the experience provided rather than the number of people who attend. If you focus on the experience an event will provide, you will have the numbers to validate the event. So, success must focus on the students rather than the event. Successful events start with planning and taking the time to ask the following questions: What does the student need? What does the student want? What is the attitude of the students about the event or life at this point? What are the perceptions (thoughts) of the students? Taking the time to get a clear picture of the student allows you to develop an intentional event and develop desired guest outcomes that identify the following: What will the guest think about the event? What will the guest feel about the event? and How will the student respond because of the event? Events must be viewed from the students’ perspective, not the planners’. A successful event for Campus Experience does the above. In addition, it provides opportunities, environment, activities, services, and programs so that the student can create memorable and meaningful moments. Our goal is to provide for and serve others, and an event is successful when it meets their needs and wants. Q: Why do you think student events are important? Why does it matter that we put on ALT nights, Elliv, JS, and other events? A: Events and programs are essential because they meet the needs of the community, and they also equip students to seek out that community when they are away from campus. We put on activities and events to encourage community. We want students to put down their technology and engage with one another. Events like ALT nights encourage personal student growth as they grow in community outside the classroom. Campus Experience views events and programs as cocurricular and not extracurricular. We want our studentteammates and our guests to be able to use what they are learning in the classroom here on campus. Q: What do you love most about your job? A: I have a great job — it is a calling. God has allowed me to serve others through creativity, organization, and leadership development. When I drive on campus each day, I am reminded that this is a gift and to make the most of every day. The most rewarding part of the job is the people I work with. The people who serve alongside me in the Campus Experience office, the colleagues across campus, the summer guest groups we host, and, most importantly, the students God brings to Cedarville University. My job is people; my passion is people. 20 | Cedarville Magazine