DALLAS—Criswell College held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new residence hall on Saturday, March 6.
Donors, members of the Board of Trustees, students, alumni, and leaders from the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention were in attendance for the historic event. Criswell College staff gave visitors a tour of the residence hall, including the fitness center, meeting spaces, and dorm rooms.
The ceremony also unveiled the name of the building as “Lance’s Hall.”
The name of the hall was a surprise gift from Mary L.A. Stanton to her son, Lance Ouellette. Stanton, whose donation had remained anonymous until the event, said that her son had no idea that her $5 million dollar gift to Criswell would also include the hall being named in his honor. She also spoke of her excitement for what the hall will mean to students.
“I could not be happier,” Stanton said. “I think providing students with a safe place to live together on campus where they can develop relationships and study together will help them become stronger Christians. I think it will also improve their academic performance. I am extremely excited for them.”
During the ceremony, President Creamer expressed thankfulness to the Lord and his faithfulness through the completion of the residence hall and the continued success of Criswell College.
“We had no idea how on earth we would actually arrive here, and yet here we are. We have learned over and over again that if you just follow where the Lord is leading with faith, then the Lord can do all the things you cannot do,” Creamer said. “We are now blooming where we are planted. I look forward to seeing how the Lord blossoms this even more into what he desires.”
Stanton shared words of encouragement during the ceremony, thanking those who contributed to the residence hall’s design and construction and giving thanks for the opportunity she has had to give to others.
“Your donation is very much appreciated and will continue to be appreciated for many, many decades to come. I know when I donated my $5 million, I felt like I was saying in a very, very small way, ‘thank you, Jesus, for all the many, many blessings you have given me throughout my life.’”
The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Executive Board voted in 2018 to provide from overage a gift of $250,000 toward the building of the residence hall. In recognition of the generosity of SBTC churches, the college has posted a plaque in the first floor lobby to remind students of that gift.
SBTC Executive Director Jim Richards, who attended the ceremony, said of the new dormitory, “I am excited to see this dream for Criswell College come to completion. It is a blessing for our convention to have been part of the provision. God has been gracious to us and we are happy to share some of what he has provided.”
The residence hall marks the first time in the 50-year history of the school that the college has been able to provide on-campus housing for students.
—Includes reporting by Gary Ledbetter