By Gordon Govier

Organization of the Year @ Campus of the Year

Scott Yeager wasn’t trying to win any awards. He was trying to engage Roanoke College students with the gospel by showing them examples of unconditional love.

“People have their own presuppositions about what Christianity is,” he said. “We’re trying to dispel bad notions but also be true to what Christ is calling us to do. So I tell students to be involved in the Bible, be involved in our chapter, be involved in discipleship relationships, and be active in another organization as well. Be the face and voice of Christ and the InterVarsity chapter in that group.”

Ready to Serve
The chapter’s vision statement is “Serving Christ by Enriching the Campus.” So when Scott is asked to be the caller for the highly popular bingo games in the campus gym, he gladly says yes. “If we’re being asked to do something, we go do it,” he said. “It’s a great way to meet people. InterVarsity has a reputation for being available to help out when help is needed.”

A number of chapter members work in the admissions office, help out in the campus center, and give campus tours. When the Sigma Chi fraternity had its letters stolen, InterVarsity helped replace them. When the sororities had their bid night (to decide on new members), InterVarsity offered to feed their leaders a spaghetti dinner.

But on bid night, the chapter ended up feeding not just sorority leaders but sorority members too, in what Scott described as a real feeding-of-the-5,000 moment. Instead of dinner for 80, it turned into dinner for 300. “And yet, we had a huge pan of spaghetti left over. I don’t know how this worked out, but it worked out. Thank you God.”

“He has tirelessly and enthusiastically initiated relationships with people from every conceivable part of Roanoke College,” said Joe Ho, InterVarsity’s Shenandoah area director and Scott’s supervisor. “Those relationships, combined with Scott’s spontaneous desire to be of service, have been the cornerstone of InterVarsity becoming a ministry that enriches the campus.”

The Rev. Paul Henrickson, Roanoke’s Dean of the Chapel, also supervises Scott and calls him a valuable colleague. “We strive to have a coherent campus ministry presence on this campus – as the second oldest Lutheran College in the U.S.,” he said. “Scott brings high energy, creativity, and a deep personal faith to the ministry here.”

Winning Recognition
The Roanoke campus, in the Shenandoah mountains of Virginia, has a lot going on. The school has an unusually robust calendar of social and academic activities for its 2,000 students, which is why the readers of Campus Activities Magazine voted Roanoke the 2009 Campus of the Year, beating out Ohio State, Boston University, and a lot of other larger schools.

It takes a unique organization to stand out on a busy campus. And this year InterVarsity did stand out, winning the Roanoke students’ vote for Organization of the Year (in a tie-vote with another organization).

One of the pay-offs for being a high profile organization came near the end of the school year one year ago. A student, writing a sociology paper on how groups are organized, made an appointment to talk with Scott about InterVarsity’s organizational structure.

“She interviewed me, and I answered all of her questions,” he recalled. “And then I said, ‘I’ve got a few questions for you.’ I talked to her about Jesus a little bit and she became interested. Two weeks later she came to Rockbridge, our chapter camp, and accepted Jesus as her savior.” This spring there was a one-year spiritual birthday celebration at Rockbridge for that student.

Scott said that he enjoys working on campus. “Winning the award reminded me that Jesus is still at work,” he said. “It’s not about me, I’m here to be used by Him.”

Several other InterVarsity chapters have also won recent recognition:

Organization of the Year at Rutgers

Organization of the Year at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

Most Outstanding Student Organization at Augustana College

Year-end Recognition for some InterVarsity students:

Meagan Meyers – Outstanding Senior at Virginia Tech

Juhee Choi – Outstanding Student at Texas A & M

Eric Barnard – G.A. Ross Award winner at Purdue University

photo: Scott Yeager with new Roanoke graduate Jeannette Sinnott, via Facebook.