COMMENTARY: Hiwassee offers a 'second chance' for education

COMMENTARY: Hiwassee offers a 'second chance' for education

I read with great interest the recent article, "Please keep the faith for Hiwassee College."

I am a member of the class of 1992. Without Hiwassee College, I would have not been able to advance my education and prepare for the real world. Hiwassee gave me a second chance at a college education. I went on to graduate from Middle Tennessee State University, majoring in mass communications.

I owe Hiwassee my appreciation and whatever I can give. Hiwassee has educated thousands of people in its 160 years -- serving the world by providing a Christ-centered education to young men and women. The college's unique mission is to offer a starting point for those who cannot afford an education or who need a smaller, more intimate environment to succeed.

Hiwassee can proudly claim many pastors among its alumni, but also doctors, lawyers, meteorologists, teachers, police officers, writers, media professionals, business professionals, opera singers, pianists, athletes, and community leaders. Hiwassee is not the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt, or Harvard, but its purpose and mission are just as important. Hiwassee offers hope for the future. I can testify to that.

I grew up on Signal Mountain, Tenn., and was a member of Signal Mountain Baptist Church in my youth. My first exposure to the United Methodist Church was through Camp Lookout. I guess I was destined to be a United Methodist in this stage of my life.

Now, as a graduate of one of three Holston colleges (the others are Emory & Henry and Tennessee Wesleyan), I have history in The United Methodist Church. I am a contributing member of the denomination through the local congregations to which I have belonged. I believe in Christian higher education. As a United Methodist, I cannot endorse our three colleges enough.

Hiwassee means so much to me and to my wife, Laura. I pray that the churches of Holston Conference -- as well as our brothers and sisters in other denominations -- will help Hiwassee through their gifts and prayers.

Tony Burgess is a member of the Hiwassee College Alumni Board of Governors and a member of White Oak UMC in Chattanooga District. He is employed as a marketing agent for Olan Mills Church Directories.
To give online to Hiwassee, visit the college website.