HIGH POINT, N.C., Dec. 5, 2014 – High Point University rang in the holidays by hosting 800 community members and honoring Triad leaders at its 44th Annual Prayer Breakfast today.
Each year, the university feeds the community and welcomes a speaker to deliver a Christmas message. Several dignitaries attended today’s event and were honored by the HPU family, including Congressman Howard Coble, former Greensboro mayor Jim Melvin, and Bill Bencini, newly-elected High Point mayor.
Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president, presented a key to High Point University to Coble, who has represented North Carolina’s sixth district since 1985.
“You have supported this institution, and you have supported all institutions,” Qubein told him in front of a packed Millis Center. “You have been my friend, and you have been a friend to every citizen. You have taught us that service comes from within, and service to humanity is the best thing we can do with our lives.”
Melvin, president and CEO of the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation, was also presented with a key to the university for his achievements at the foundation and in the cities of High Point and Greensboro. Qubein said Melvin has in immeasurable ways helped the city of Greensboro as well as High Point. One example is the iPad Project, led by the Bryan Foundation and HPU, which ultimately led to a $30 million grant for Guilford County Schools to put iPads in the hands of its students.
“Jim, you have been a wonderful steward of the Bryan Foundation and do so much to help your city,” Qubein said. “I present you with this key as the key to our hearts and our souls. It is our way of saying we appreciate you, and together, we can make the world a better place.”
Dr. Jacob Martinson, who served as HPU president before Qubein took the helm in 2005, was also honored at the breakfast.
This year’s message was delivered by Rev. Dr. Richard Gibbons, native of Scotland and pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Greenville, South Carolina. Gibbons focused on Joseph from the scripture of Matthew and the challenges Joseph faced when he discovered Mary, his soon-to-be wife, was pregnant.
“The very thing that caused Joseph pain, God was at the center of,” Gibbons said. “He moved from grief to grace. As we move toward Christmas, stop, pause and remember God makes no mistakes. Whatever you have been through these past 12 months, God will not abandon or forsake you. Through grief, pain, loss – he is there.”