On July 9, 2012, the University received official authorization from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to change its name to Cairn University.
What is a cairn?
Throughout human history, men and women all over the world have piled stones to serve as memorials and markers. The stones marked boundaries and important events – ones worth remembering for generations to come.
Stones are piled at trail crossings as well. They mark a road to be taken, a danger to be avoided, or a spring or well at which travelers can be refreshed.
Man-made piles of stones, memorials of the past and markers for the path ahead, are called by many names in many languages. The English term is cairn.
Why Cairn University?
The University’s new name is tied to who we are and what we do. It is a strong, unique word with a powerful visual appeal and dual meaning. Everywhere they are found, cairns both bear witness and point the way.
After crossing the Jordan River on dry ground, the children of Israel were commanded to pile stones for a high purpose. When the coming generation asked for the meaning of the stones, they could then be reminded of the great faithfulness of God. The stones stood as a silent memorial and an ongoing testimony. The University’s verse is Lamentations 3:23 which testifies to God’s great faithfulness.
Jeremiah instructs the people of God to place markers and set down guideposts as they went into exile so that they might know the way to return. These piles of stones provide direction. The Scriptural call, “This is the way, walk in it,” is a powerful one. “Walk a Different Path” is our call to students to think, and learn, and serve biblically. Their very lives are to bear witness and point the way for others.
100 Years of God’s Faithfulness
This is an historic moment in the life of our institution and one for which we praise the Lord. In 2013, we will celebrate our 100th anniversary. That Centennial year will be marked by a number of activities and events to remind us of God’s great faithfulness. But it will also be a year in which we look to the future. For nearly a century, we have remained committed to educating men and women to serve Christ. We have also remained steadfast in our central commitment to Scripture. This institution has remained steadfast and committed to these things while always looking forward, always reaching farther, always making changes that were strategic and in furtherance of our mission and vision.