The third of my three visits in 11 days was to Magnolia, Arkansas to visit Southern Arkansas University. This was one of those trips that made me thankful that the Lord will bless BYX with a private jet for each staff member one day (John 14:14). The drive was less than exciting: Fort Worth traffic, then Dallas traffic, then two-lane country roads. But after much toil and tailgating, I arrived in beautiful Magnolia.
President J.W. Misenheimer and alumnus Will Smith met me at my hotel right away and took me to The Flying Burger to curb my starvation. It was one of the best things I had to eat during the whole visit, and reminded me of exactly how blissfully preferable flying would have been to driving. Since Will works for SAU in the Alumni Center, he was able to give me an extensive tour of one of the largest (square footage) campuses in Arkansas. SAU is not a dense campus, nor is anything there older than three years. That makes for a whole lot of farmland and some shiny new buildings full of shiny new high-tech gadgetry.
Chapter meeting that night was organized pretty well, with alumnus Jared leading worship, a Powerpoint presentation leading officer talking points and an intentional prayer time that allowed brothers to share and encourage. Afterward, we went to eat and then I smoked them all at Mario Kart. Hey, some of us are good at video games and some of us have girlfriends.
I was glad to be able to instruct and encourage the officers in their positions, most of them being new this year and the chapter being relatively new itself. It is clear that although this chapter is small, the brothers would all go to war for each other. Brotherhood is what they do best.
Rush was going on the week I visited, so I got to meet and encourage a number of potential pledges. I pray they are moved to pledge and see exactly what it is to invest in a community that is also intentionally invested in them.
My only regret from this trip was not being able to experience “The Plunger Games,” their rush event parody of The Hunger Games. I would have liked to be part of the mayhem, but I’m sure everyone there had a great time assaulting one another with bathroom implements. I appreciate the hospitality, Magnolia, and I’ll see you again next time, hopefully coming in on an airplane!