OLLU student ministers advocate for former director of Ministry and his service
SAN ANTONIO – Student ministers at Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) expressed their endearment and appreciation towards their former director of University Ministry, Creighton Chandler after announcing his sudden departure at the end of April.
Since the announcing of Chandler’s sudden departure from Vice President of University Ministry Gloria Urrabazo on Monday, April 25, student ministers have pushed for members of OLLU to acknowledge his absence and its impact on Ministry. With the support from students all over campus, student ministers have assembled to uphold Chandler’s mentorship and leadership qualities.
In a matter of seven days, students in Ministry used social media to petition on behalf of Chandler’s unexpected departure. At the same time, several student ministers acknowledged how the loss of their director had impacted them in positive and negative ways.
“Our Lady of the Lake preaches inclusivity, community and diversity which is all the things that Dr. Chandler promoted,” said biology major Aaliyah Delgado.
Graduate student Erin Martinez and double major Victoria Aguilera expressed their gratitude towards Chandler’s providence and his impact on the communities of OLLU.
“Part of the reason I made it into graduate school was because of Creighton,” Martinez said.
Martinez said that during her junior year, both faculty members, Sister. Christina and Chandler influenced her livelihood which empowered her to minister.
“As children of God, we should treat each other with love and respect which is exactly what Creighton did to anyone he came into contact with,” said Aguilera. “There are people from the RGV, online students, alumni and people outside of OLLU who have been affected by his absence.”
History major Richard Galvan and student education major Desiree Carrillo conveyed their admiration toward the former director of the University Ministry.
“Since working with Creighton for three years he has been like a father figure to me,” said Galvan.
Galvan worked alongside Chandler for three years, assisting and learning from him.
“Creighton was a person that made so many people feel loved, heard and seen both on and off campus,” Carrillo said.
Galvan said that Chandler inspired him to overcome his struggles and see the beauty in his journey towards his calling.
Another ministry student revealed how Chandler’s sudden departure left her emotionless for the first week.
“All I could think of in that moment of finding out about Creighton was that his departure was sudden,” said an OLLU student who wishes to be kept anonymous. “[Chandler] was and still is a great person and deserves more from OLLU.”
On Wednesday, May 4, President Melby sent out an email to the community of OLLU responding to concerns from student ministers regarding the Chandler’s sudden departure.
“I believe, above all, you want to know more fully, what happened and what policies OLLU has in place to address your concerns,” President Melby said.
President Melby said in the email that because the second core value of OLLU is community, she is hurting with the rest of the students, staff and faculty.
It is apparent that Chandler impacted members of the Ministry who have chosen to emphasize his contributions to OLLU. Though students in University Ministry may be mourning, they are uplifting his community service.
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