Andrews University campus entrance, photo credit Darren Heslop

January 12, 2022

Andrews University Receives Grant to Explore Its Institutional History

BERRIEN SPRINGS, Mich.—The Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) has awarded Andrews University a “Reframing the Institutional Saga” grant for $38,800 through CIC’s Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE).

This grant is awarded to designated member “colleges and universities that seek to re-examine and reframe their commitments in ways that balance their history, identity, and heritage with attention to their present circumstances.”

Andrews University will utilize these funds to document the University’s history within its social context. Michael Nixon, vice president for University Culture & Inclusion, and Meredith Jones Gray, professor of English, will lead a team of researchers and writers who will work to shed light on some of the neglected stories that have shaped our institutional journey.

The project will incorporate a wide range of voices to inform University identity and create a more welcoming campus culture for diverse ethnicities, cultures and religious perspectives. The truth-telling process will include participants from dominant and non-dominant voices that will be blended to reflect the history of Andrews University.

“I am excited that we have gotten this vital grant that will help us continue on our institutional journey of reckoning with our past in authentic ways while we work together to chart the path ahead,” shares Nixon. “This work began in fall 2020 with the official launch of our Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center, and this CIC/NetVUE grant will help us continue this important work. It is an honor to work with such an amazing team and we can be confident that with the Spirit’s leading that the best is yet to come!”

The grant will fund a second volume addressing the school’s history as well as a documentary film. These outcomes will be made accessible to students, employees, alumni and wider audiences. 

“The NetVUE grant provides a wonderful boost toward completing the next volume of the Andrews Heritage series, which covers the first several decades after Emmanuel Missionary College became Andrews University—the part of our institutional saga that has never been published. I am looking forward to hearing and representing the many voices that make up the Andrews story,” says Jones Gray. She is the author of a major historical account of Andrews University, “Andrews Heritage Volume I: As We Set Forth” (Andrews University, 2002). 

“Even though I grew up at Andrews,” Jones Gray continues, “I have learned so much more, through my historical research, about the students, staff and faculty who have contributed to our institutional story and culture. The second volume of the Andrews Heritage series begins in 1960 and covers an exciting era of growth in the history of the university. I am looking forward to hearing and representing the many voices that make up that history.”

President Andrea Luxton states, “Andrews University is delighted to receive this grant which will enable us to explore our unique institutional narrative with authenticity and transparency. As we understand our own history better our own future will be stronger.” 

NetVUE describes itself as “a nationwide network of colleges and universities formed to enrich the intellectual and theological exploration of vocation among undergraduate students.” NetVUE is an initiative of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC). More than 700 colleges, universities and organizations across North America are CIC members. Of these schools, 20 received grants in the first round of “saga” awards. Andrews University received funding in the second round of the grant program, a significant achievement. NetVUE grants are administered by the Council of Independent Colleges with support from Lilly Endowment Inc. and member dues.

Founded in 1874, Andrews University is the flagship institution of higher education for the Seventh-day Adventist Church and offers more than 160 areas of study, including advanced degrees. Its main campus is in Berrien Springs, Michigan, but the University also provides instruction at colleges and universities in more than 25 countries around the world.

Moriah McDonald, University Communication student writer