Lee Dedicates Dirksen Row

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - by Naudia O’Steen, Lee University
At the ribbon cutting, from left, Dennis Livingston, Darlia Conn, Dr. Paul Conn, Dr. Carolyn Dirksen, and Dr. Murl Dirksen
At the ribbon cutting, from left, Dennis Livingston, Darlia Conn, Dr. Paul Conn, Dr. Carolyn Dirksen, and Dr. Murl Dirksen

Lee University dedicated a new female dorm, Dirsken Row. Dirksen Row is named after Drs. Carolyn and Murl Dirksen. 

“The Dirksens have served for a combined 96 years at Lee, and in that time have influenced the lives of countless people here and abroad,” said Lee President Dr. Paul Conn. “We’re so glad to be able to name one of our new structures for them in honor of nearly a century of investment into Lee and its students.” 

Dr. Conn cited Carolyn Dirksen’s status as the longest serving employee at Lee, having begun teaching full-time in 1968. Murl Dirksen began teaching in 1972. Carolyn Dirksen currently serves as director for the Center of Teaching Excellence, while Murl Dirksen is a professor of anthropology. 

“I have loved every minute of my work at Lee and feel wonderfully privileged to have had a chance to be part of the growth and development of such an incredible institution,” said Carolyn Dirksen. “I can't even grasp what it means to be honored by having a building named for us. I am more grateful than I can say.” 

The new dorm is similar to the nearby Livingston East townhouse-style dorm and has 11 units, which house 44 female students. Each two-story unit features a full kitchen along with a washer and dryer. The new development also provides 40 more on-campus spaces for student vehicles. 

“It is an exciting day,” said Cole Strong, vice president for operations. “I’m thrilled that we are dedicating it today in honor of Carolyn and Murl Dirksen and their impact on our campus over the past 50 years.” 

The ceremony included the welcome by Lee President Dr. Paul Conn, the ribbon cutting, and a litany of dedication led by Dennis Livingston, chairman of Lee’s Board of Directors, which went as follows: 

With deep gratitude for the many blessings which we receive from a loving God…
We dedicate this building.
With thanksgiving for the redemptive work of Jesus Christ in all our individual lives…
We dedicate this building.
In affirmation of our belief in the Holy Bible as the very Word of God and the source of God’s revelation to us all…
We dedicate this building.
In honor of Carolyn and Murl Dirksen, in gratitude for their lifetime of service to students, and in respect and admiration or their leadership at Lee University for half a century…
We dedicate this building.
With a profound sense of our responsibility for the students who, for many years, will make Dirksen Row, and the entire campus, their home…
We dedicate this building.
With a firm commitment to educate them in the knowledge of God’s Word, and to send them out to serve others in the love of Jesus Christ…
We dedicate this building.
With a pledge to the Almighty God that, with His help we will lead this university by His Holy Spirit…
We dedicate this building.
In the name of the Father…
And of the Son…
And of the Holy Spirit

The expansion also welcomed a new residential director onto campus to oversee Dirksen Row and the already existing Keeble Hall.  

For more information about housing at Lee, visit http://www.leeuniversity.edu/residential-life/.

Drs. Carolyn and Murl Dirksen, right, with residents of Dirksen Row
Drs. Carolyn and Murl Dirksen, right, with residents of Dirksen Row

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