Dear CSU Family,
When the clock strikes midnight tonight, I will no longer be president of Charleston Southern University. And because of everything I’ve seen God do through you the past 5 years, that last sentence is one of the hardest I’ve ever had to write.
Vickey and I are grieving as we’re leaving, which is the highest compliment we could ever pay to the university we love. You aren’t just “like” our family, you are our family, and we’ll miss everything about you and CSU. Absolutely everything.
You let us join the Blue Crew even though our pathway to the Reflection Pond came through a slightly different shade, Air Force blue. You showed us day after day that God’s call on your life crushed any challenge. You demonstrated that the pandemic was no match for a band of Bucs whose faith led you to adopt Psalm 46 as your Providential playbook. “Don’t fear, Buccaneer,” you said, as you ran the race with perseverance with your eyes on the prize.
You persisted in the face of obstacles that included recession and inflation by exercising faith in the God of revelation and inspiration. You accomplished more than you imagined, even as you realized that we still have a long way to go. What you thought was a sprint turned out to be a marathon, but you kept running. Don’t even think about stopping, even when the finish line seems too far away.
You embraced the language of Wildly Important Goals. You agreed to confront the brutal facts and make hard choices. You produced academic excellence in a Christian environment. You integrated faith in learning, leading, and serving. You prepared servant leaders to pursue significant lives. You committed to becoming EPIC, for the good of others and the glory of God. And God stamped your Passport to Purpose every step of the way.
It has been sheer joy to have made this leg of the journey with you. Vickey and I are closer to the Lord because of you. Since half a decade has elapsed since we set sail, we are also closer to heaven. By the way, so are you.
We thank God for you, Bucs. We can’t wait to see what He does in His time with the seeds you have planted in our time. As we pass the baton to the next ones up, may God continue to do in and through you what only He can do.
Because God is on the move at CSU, the best is yet to come!
Dondi E. Costin, PhD