McMurry University hosted its fifth annual “McMurry Serves” on the weekend of February 16th, 2019. In total, there were over 196 McMurry students, employees, and alumni serving the surrounding Abilene community. Old and new War Hawks were able to attend six service projects, such as, a food bank, garden work, cleanup, as well as other projects.
Suzann Couts, who is the director of Alumni Relations and coordinator for McMurry Serves, said, “Compared with our first project in 2015, we have more places to serve each year, which also encourages more people to be a part of.” This project provides current McMurry students a chance to serve, and above all, students learn that they can continuously be involved in McMurry’s family by participating in service projects even after they graduate. Every McMurry student will eventually become an alumni. However, when students leave, they should know that McMurry is always here for them. “Alumni were excited for attending McMurry Serves. They think it is a great opportunity to feel the common belonging, and also giving back to the community they love,” added by Couts.
During McMurry Serves, our students expressed their love to McMurry University and the Abilene community. Through the experience, students also gained new friendships and happiness as they served.
“I had a lot of fun with my friends at the Aldersgate Community Garden project. I pulled out the weeds and learned how to plant onions, as well as, participate in the chili cookout competition. Serving others brings me happiness,” said Sarah Pellikan, a junior majoring in early childhood education. “It also became more fun when I serve the church I love to go with my friends. After I attended many service projects, I realized that McMurry University truly values service and helping others, which makes me love McMurry even more.”
Shawna Faucett, a sophomore majoring in biomedical science, said, “God didn’t give me the ability to serve others so I could sit around and watch. He wanted me to go and do.” By feeling the call from God and her heart, Faucett served at the Food bank of West Central Texas project. “I sorted through dry and canned foods with excitement. Through the process, I got to meet new people and make new friends. I became overjoyed when I saw how many boxes of food we were able to sort out for a good cause. I love the friends I have met at McMurry, and I am also really grateful to serve with these amazing people,” added by Faucett.
The weather of Febuaray 16th in Abilene was cold, but the service students and alumnus’ love heated up the town. However, it wasn’t just students who made the town warmer, McMurry faculty also served throughout the city.
Dr. Mark Waters, professor of religion and director of international education, said, “It is important to be involved in the community. I chose to serve the Aldersgate Community Garden because I think it is particularly important for McMurry to nurture our connection with the United Methodist Church, specifically with our neighbors who are right across the street. The experience was delightful because I got to meet new people and work side-by-side on a project that benefits the community. As a faculty member, I love the education and servant leadership McMurry provides.”
Because of love, we serve our dear Abilene community. Because we continuously serve our community, we build tight bonds with it, which inspires us to love our community more and to give back to it more. McMurry University has received lots of appreciation from Abilene. Let’s serve more and love more, War Hawks!