BJU Public Relations

The official PR blog for Bob Jones University

BJU Students Participate in Missions Trip to Australia

Greenville, S.C. (August 7, 2013) – BJUAustraliaTeamSeven Bob Jones University students traveled to Australia for a mission trip June 1-July 30.  The team, led by BJU Science Division chairman George Matzko and his wife, Darlene, ministered at nine churches and a camp in Queensland and New South Wales. 

The team members assisted in church services and various outreaches (nursing homes, youth groups, Bible/Science seminars, concerts, VBS, after-school Bible clubs, readers’ theatre, religious education classes in public schools, as well as preparing a camp facility for two weeks of winter camp where they served as cabin leaders and operational staff.

Deb Dahlhausen, a sophomore Special Education major from Easley, S.C.,summed up her participation on the team this way, “This summer has been the best, most challenging, eye-opening experience of my life.  I didn’t realize how life changing it would be.”

Anne Marie Becker, a graduate Piano Pedagogy major from Greenville, S.C., adds, “The biggest thing the Lord taught me is to have faith that He will help me accomplish what He’s given me to do.  I learned when I think, “I can’t do that” I’m actually not believing God is powerful enough, good enough, or sufficient to help me.”

“A major part of our job as team leaders,” said Dr. George Matzko , “is to ensure that the students think and journal about the experiences they have had in Australia.  An unreflected experience is a lost experience.”

Beginning in 1996, BJU has sent a missions team to Australia and the Matzko’s have led the team each year. Prior to their service in Australia, the Matzko’s led a team to Nova Scotia for nine years.

Bob Jones Academy Student Awarded BSA Heroism Award

Eagle Scout T. J. Benwire, pictured with his parents Lee and Cherie Benwire

Eagle Scout T. J. Benwire, pictured with his parents   Lee and Cherie Benwire

Greenville, S.C. (August 6, 2013) – The Blue Ridge Council of the Boy Scouts of America presented Eagle Scout T. J. Benwire of Travelers Rest with its prestigious Heroism Award Monday night during the Greenville Drive game at Fluor Field. Benwire, a rising senior at Bob Jones Academy, was honored for assisting scouts injured in an automobile accident on July 13, 2012.

Benwire was nominated for the award by several scouts he assisted after the accident as they departed Camp Old Indian. Several nominations mentioned Benwire’s confidence, calmness and focus in dealing with the situation. One scout was seriously injured and Benwire’s insistence on not moving him until EMS arrived prevented further injury.

The Heroism Award, one of Scouting’s highest honors, is presented to fewer than 300 scouts each year who have “demonstrated heroism and skill in saving or attempting to save a life at minimum risk to self.” Benwire is the first recipient from BSA Troop 519, which is sponsored by Bob Jones University, to receive the award.

Benwire was elected as Senior Patrol Leader for his troop at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree and has been awarded three Silver Palms and 105 merit badges. He recently passed his open water dive and is now a licensed scuba diver for life.

BJU Students Participate in Missions Trip to Europe

MusicMissionTeamPic3Greenville, S.C. (August 2, 2013) – Twenty-four Bob Jones University students and graduates under the leadership of Drs. William and Janie McCauley comprised the Musical Mission Team that gave concerts and Gospel messages throughout Europe May 20 – July 26. These musicians were members of a choir and instrumental ensemble that performed more than 60 concerts in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania.

The team was hosted by national churches and missions organizations. Their widely publicized concerts were performed in churches, concert halls, hospitals and elder-care facilities as well as various outdoor venues. In each country the team performed traditional church music in the language of the people as well as early American hymns in English.

Luke Seelenbinder, a junior computer science major from Greenville, S.C. said, “I had an incredible opportunity to see the Body of Christ in action as we visited many churches of varying sizes, types, and convictions. Among the diversity, I consistently saw the crux of the church: a steady eye focused on the truth of God’s Word. The greatest moments were fellowshipping, learning, and growing with fellow believers in ways that transcended opinion, race, language, and age. I watched Christ build His church.”

The team was composed of a wide variety of students ─ from nine states and two countries ─ majoring in Bible, history, computer science, education, music, science and humanities. The group’s 10,000-mile journey within Europe began and ended in Geneva, Switzerland.

The 2013 trip marked the 23rd summer of ministry in Europe for the BJU Musical Mission Team and the McCauleys. More than 40 former members of the team now serve internationally in missions.

BJU Students Participate in Missions Trip to Western United States

DSC_0615-1Greenville, S.C. (July 31, 2013) Thirteen Bob Jones University students traveled to Utah and Nevada for a missions trip June 19-July 22.  The team, led by BJU administrator Jon Daulton and his wife, Kim, ministered at nine churches and a camp.  The students participated in a variety of ministries including assisting in church services, door-to-door evangelism, light constructions projects, sports camp, Vacation Bible School, and staffing a summer camp for one week.

“It was my family’s joy to lead this team,” said Jon Daulton.  “The students showed tremendous initiative, flexibility, and servant mindedness in a way that I believe has and will make an eternal impact on the lives we touched.”

One of the highlights was designing and building a float for a church in Salina, Utah, to use in the town’s July 4th parade.  The float was near the front of the parade and team members handed out water bottles wrapped in the church name to those watching the parade.

Later in the trip, the team was able to provide counseling and operational staff for a camp. Three junior high campers trusted Christ for salvation during the week.  One young man was so excited to realize Christ had died to “pay for all my sins!”

During their five weeks of ministry in the American West, the team traveled 6,650 miles.

Bob Jones University Issues Statement Concerning Indianapolis Bus Accident

Greenville, S.C. (July 28, 2013) – The following statement, concerning the bus accident in Indianapolis yesterday, is attributable to Randy Page, Director of Public Relations at Bob Jones University:

“Bob Jones University is deeply saddened by the injury of a number of individuals and the deaths of three of our graduates and an unborn baby in the bus accident in Indianapolis Saturday. While situations like this are difficult to understand, we have absolute faith that God is in control of every circumstance in the lives of those who believe in Him. The Bob Jones University family continues to pray for those injured and their families, the families of those killed and the members of Colonial Hills Baptist Church at this difficult time.”

BJU Students Participate in Missions Trip to Africa

Angel 264Greenville, S.C. (July 26, 2013) – Twelve Bob Jones University students participated in an eight week missions trip to Africa May 8 – July 7.  Dr. Dan Olinger, team leader and  a member of BJU’s Bible faculty, coordinated work in four locations—Ghana, Tanzania, Cameroon, and South Africa—in ministries as diverse as children’s Bible clubs, preaching, teaching, singing, tutoring, and engaging in medical work. A medical subteam worked in Cameroon while a group of education majors tutored at an orphanage in Mwanza, Tanzania.

The team worked with missionaries in some locations and with no cultural bridge in others, developing relationships with African nationals and learning cross-cultural communication and ministry methods from them.

Abbie Rysta, an Early Childhood Education major from Goose Creek, S.C., observed, “From the beginning God gave us the strength to persevere with the cultural differences and language barriers. The exciting thing for me was to see the little ways that God had prepared me for this teaching opportunity. Being able to take those experiences and use what I learned was such a big blessing. I thank God for the wisdom, joy, and grace to keep going even when I was drained physically and mentally.”

“Life in the States is unlike life anywhere else,” Dr. Olinger said. “And most American young people are isolated from the rest of the world by two oceans, a language barrier, and significant cultural differences. I love giving these students a chance to learn the good ways that other cultures do things and the wisdom the African believers bring to living for Christ in those other cultures.”

BJU Graduates Receive Regional Emmy Awards

Matthew Martens Emmy

Matthew Martens’ Emmy

Bill Reagan's Emmy

Bill Reagan’s Emmy

Greenville, S. C. (July 24, 2013) – Bob Jones University is pleased to announce Bill Reagan, a 1986 graduate,  and Matt Martens, a 1996 graduate, were awarded regional Emmys by the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) for journalistic excellence.


Reagan received his Emmy in the General Assignment Report – No Time Limit category for “Brinks Job” while Martens’ Emmy was given in the Breaking News Category for his work as a morning news team member for coverage of a train derailment explosion.

Both graduates are employed at WBNS TV, the CBS affiliate in Columbus, Ohio.

The WBNS TV team won twelve Emmys at the NATAS event, held in Cincinnati July 20. The Ohio Valley chapter serves thirteen media markets located in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia.

Bob Jones Academy Student Achieves Top ACT Score

James LovegroveGreenville, S.C. (July 15, 2013) – Elliot Lovegrove, son of Dr. Bill and Mrs. Jocelyn Lovegrove of Greenville and a rising senior at Bob Jones Academy, earned a top composite score of 36 on a recent ACT test.

Nationally, while the actual number of students earning a composite score of 36 varies from year to year, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students who take the ACT earn the top score. Among test takers in the high school graduating class of 2012, only 781 of more than 1.66 million students earned a composite score of 36.

The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science. Each test is scored on a scale of 1-36, and a student’s composite score is the average of the four test scores. Some students also take ACT’s optional Writing Test, but the score for that test is reported separately and is not included within the ACT composite score.

In a letter recognizing this exceptional achievement, ACT CEO Jon Whitmore said, “While test scores are just one of the many criteria that most colleges consider when making admission decisions, your exceptional ACT composite score should prove helpful as you pursue your education and career goals.”

ACT test scores are accepted by all major U.S. colleges, and exceptional scores of 36 provide colleges with evidence of student readiness for the academic rigors that lie ahead.

Elliot participates in the BJA Orchestra and the Young Artist Orchestra, which is part of Greenville County Youth Orchestras (GCYO). He is active in forensics and serves on staff for the Triangle (school newspaper) and Academian (yearbook). He will serve as co-editor of the Academian this fall. Earlier this year, Elliot won BJA’s concerto competition, and performed Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A Minor with the BJA Orchestra during a spring concert.

Elliot is an active member of Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville and plans to join the Class of 2018 at Bob Jones University and major in Studio Art.

Austin Reddington Wins First Place in Autodesk “Gwen and Dave’s Getaway” Contest

Austin Reddington, a 2010 Cinema and Video Production graduate of Bob Jones University, won first place in the Autodesk “Gwen and Dave’s Getaway” Contest. Reddington was awarded an Autodesk® Entertainment Creation Suite Premium and Lenovo ThinkPad W530 Mobile Workstation.

His entry, titled “Sky Fishing” may be viewed here.


Mike Simmons Named As 2013 Greenville County School District Professional Employee of the Year

Congratulations are in order for Mike Simmons, a 1985 Bob Jones University graduate who serves as the webmaster for the Greenville County School District, on being named the 2013 Greenville County School District Professional Employee of the Year.

A video of Mike receiving his award may be viewed here.