Evangel University surprised its first lady Monday, (April 21, 2014) with a ceremony naming the Heritage Room in Riggs Hall Administration Building in her honor.
The announcement of the Anne Spence Heritage Room came as part of several festivities commemorating the retirement of Evangel’s 40-year president, Dr. Robert Spence, and Anne.
More than 50 family, friends and members of the Evangel Ladies Auxiliary, in which Anne served in a leadership role for nearly 40 years, attended the ceremony.
The EUA was instrumental in raising funds for the Heritage Room when Riggs Hall was built in 2008, and again when it was transformed into a fireside welcome center in 2012. The room is now the main meeting point for campus visit groups, alumni and friends of the university.
Evangel’s student government committed their support to decorating the room and bordering display cases as a special project.
“It’s an honor for the Senate to do this for Mrs. Spence and for the university,” Senate President Paul Bayer says. “Since it’s the first year of the consolidated university, this is a good mark for the coming together of the three schools and is a reflection of the progress we have made.”
A Lasting Legacy
The Anne Spence Heritage Room includes artifacts that celebrate the histories of Evangel University, Central Bible College and the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary at Evangel University. There are even artifacts that predate Evangel, when the land was used for the O’Reilly Army Hospital.
Anne served as first lady of Evangel for 40 years. Her legacy includes establishing a weekly meeting to pray for the needs of Evangel and leading the auxiliary through several special fundraising projects, ranging from the massive pipe organ in the chapel to new uniforms for the EU marching band.
Dr. Robert Bartels, faculty advisor for Senate, says the dedication of the Anne Spence Heritage Room is a fitting tribute to a woman who has devoted much prayer and service to Evangel.
“For all she has done for students over the past 40 years, we give this back as a thank you,” he says.
Dr. Spence’s tenure as president will conclude April 30. He has agreed to accept an appointment as Chancellor of the university in a part-time role — his primary responsibilities will be in donor relations, fund development, and as ambassador for Evangel.
Other events this week include a student reception on Tuesday, in the Crusader Dining Hall, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; a faculty and staff reception on Wednesday, same place, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.; and an invitation retirement dinner on Thursday evening.