Letter from the Student Body President: Thank You and Farewell

An open letter to the GU community:

To the dream team, my GSGA cabinet, wow. There are no words to describe how proud and thankful I am for each of you. Our work this year is our work. Each of you handled your roles with grace, service, and just plain hard work. You will forever be one of the most cherished teams I have ever been a part. I will never forget the early mornings and late nights spent brainstorming, planning, chatting, and configuring a way to conquer the world! 

To Ross Baker, who has been the best help and poured into me in every aspect of my life. I don’t know what I would have done without you. Thank you for all that you do for this school. I’m sorry I always forget about you in meetings, but I promise I’ll never forget the work we’ve done together this year and the way you’ve been there for me and this cabinet. 

To Anna Finch, the best VP a girl could ask for, this English Education girl boss duo will forever hold a special place in my heart. There are no words to express my gratitude for your help, love, grace, and leadership. You are one of the strongest souls I know. You carried this team on your back and never complained about not getting any credit. 

To the GU faculty and staff, Jane Bell, Lisa Amundson, Lori Gaffner, Roy Mulholland, Katie Nehf, Kasey Laughlin, Nicole Myers, Laura Schaub, Pedro Valentin, Mariam Porter, Kelli Pryor, Johnny Milabu, Mikey Ward, Niquita Hohm, Johnny Hinton, Doug Faulkner, Deloy Cole, George Barber, Teresa Holden, Dewayne Neeley, Alex Staton, Lauren Joseph, Kat Fink, Terri and Paul Sunderland, and so many others. The list is endless. Whether you realize it or not, you all played a tremendous role in my year. Through your words of encouragement and love, I have had the strength to keep fighting. 

To the students, never forget that your voice matters. My team and I did everything we could to allow the breath of students to come alive through the action and change that took place on our campus. Thank you for speaking up, standing up, and fighting alongside us for the betterment of the campus. 

To the entire GU Board, all the administrators, Ivan and Kathie Filby, Dr. Hartley, Katrina Liss, Terrell Carter, and the angel assistants, Kaylee Staton, and Regina Robart. Thank you for your leadership and open-mindedness in listening to the voice of students. What I learned about how to lead from you all will be carried out throughout the rest of my life. 

Thank you for welcoming me with open arms. When I was elected as Student Body President at Greenville University, fear was the only emotion that lived within me. It took weeks before I felt confident in my ability to lead my cabinet and the student body. There are so many people who have embraced me since those fearful moments. It’s you- the entire GU community, that I want to thank for taking me in, letting me fail, learn, grow, change, both personally and professionally. 

Thank you for catching me when I fall. James 1:2 reads, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” The joyful spirits that surrounded me with truth and light kept me going in times of trouble. (and let me tell you, there were so many times of trouble!!)

Thank you for caring about this special place. When I get to talk about GU, my face lights up. I care so much about our small but mighty campus community. Knowing and seeing that I am not alone in this care for such a special place is what got me here, carried me through, and leaves me feeling appreciative. 

Thank you for guiding me in my growth with my relationship with Christ. Psalm 25 has been my anthem throughout this journey. Verse 16-7 read, “ Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.” There were times throughout this journey in which I felt this emotion with my innermost being. The way in which this community has poured into me spiritually cannot be described accurately. Through bible studies, small groups, chapel, vespers, and individual conversations I’ve never felt the love of Christ more in my life than during this year. He has been with me in every hill and valley because I am blessed to have spiritual mentors that have prayed for and over me. 

Thank you for an experience of a lifetime. This past year has been full of hard work, meetings, tears of pain and joy, meetings, laughter, meetings, meals shared, leadership training, meetings, 1-1s, and….more meetings. Maybe I am exaggerating about the meetings! It’s been the ride of a lifetime and this letter can not possibly express my profound thankfulness for this community. 

Thank you.

Your 2019-2020 Student Body President,

Sidney Webster