On Friday, May 10, 2013, following the Student Celebration Chapel on the walkway, members of the University community gathered to dedicate two linden trees planted nearby dedicated in memory of Dr. Herb Hirt and Dr. Sam Hsu. The trees were a gift from the graduating class of 2012 and other donors. They are part of a plan to plant more shade trees along the walkway in the coming years.
Dr. Williams, speaking to the group as the dedication began, remembered the difficult losses the Cairn community experienced during the 2011-2012 academic year. Dr. Hsu, Distinguished Professor of Music, died suddenly following a car accident in December 2011 and Dr. Hirt, Dean of the School of Divinity, died after a battle with cancer in April 2012. Both men had been professors at Cairn for many years and had been deeply involved in the lives of students, faculty, and staff. Both had impact and influence in the University’s growth and development of programs and initiatives.
Dr. Hirt’s wife, Diane, and his mother, aunt, daughter and two grandchildren joined the student body for chapel and accepted the plaque that will be placed at the foot of the tree from Dr. Williams. The plaquereads, “In memory of Dr. O. Herbert Hirt, Dean, Professor, and faithful friend of the University and its students.” As Dr. Williams prayed with the group and Dr. Hirt’s family, he asked the Lord that the tree would stand as a reminder of the example Dr. Hirt was to serve and love the Lord well.
Dr. Hsu’s brothers, Timothy and Andrew Hui, his nephew, and long-time family friend Miss Mae Stewart were able to join the group for the dedication as well. Dr. Williams reminded those gathered of Dr. Hsu’s lasting contributions to and legacy at Cairn and presented the plaque, which reads, “In memory of Dr. Samuel Hsu, Distinguished Professor and faithful friend of the University and its students.” In his prayer, Dr. Williams thanked the Lord for enabling Dr. Hsu to do what he could do to the best of his ability for the glory of God.
The dedication service followed a Student Celebration Chapel in which the same themes seen in the impact of these two men stood out clearly in the songs chosen, the scriptures shared, and the words spoken. Graduating senior Jason Crocker shared how he had come to Cairn initially wanting to be a famous preacher with a big church, and how God had changed his focus over his years of study. “I can say that God’s glory is most important to me now,” said Jason, reflecting on his journey. “I’m no longer walking a path of selfishness. Being a Christian is walking a different path of doing everything to the glory of God through Jesus Christ.”