Dr. Billy Kim, is a world-wide advocate for Belhaven University and has been a very special personal friend for many years. After three years of working together on this project, I’m thrilled to tell you that we are now ready to begin construction of our new International Center named in honor of this most influential leader in the modern era of the global Church.
Last week the Board of Trustees unanimously voted for us to begin construction. Crews will start the work in May, and it will take a year to complete the project. Dale Partners Architects P.A. designed the building and Mike Harrell of Probity Contracting Group will be the builder. This is the same team that did Fitzhugh Hall and the University Village.
Dr. Kim has raised millions of dollars for this project, and our gratitude to him is enormous.
The 16,000 square foot building will be located in the center of campus. The top level of the building will open onto the brick sidewalk shared with Helen White Hall. And the lower floor will open onto the pavilion that serves as a gateway to the University Village.
The Dr. Billy Kim International Center will house a conference and meeting center unlike any space we now have on campus. The conference center will seat over 400 people in a lecture setting, or over 250 people for a banquet. The room can also be divided with a soundproof flexible wall so that two smaller gatherings can take place simultaneously. This floor will also include a large lobby with a wonderful display recognizing the ministry of Dr. Kim. The banquet preparation kitchen in the building will be named in honor of his wife Trudy, who has a remarkable reach in Korea through her café that has become a significant ministry center for the Christian school founded by their son Joseph.
On the lower level of the International Center, we will have three large classrooms seating about 35-40 people and six seminar rooms that can each seat a 10-15 people. This level will also include a Korean style prayer room and offices for our ESL and International Studies faculty, as well as an office for Cliff McArdle who will serve as Director of the International Center.
I hope you will join with me in expressing appreciation to Cliff who has done a outstanding job working with so many Korean and American friends throughout this entire fund raising process.
When completed, Dr. Kim is bringing to Jackson his ENTIRE staff of 350 people, plus his board of 50 leaders for the dedication of the new International Center. In addition, he is bringing two children’s choirs (50 children plus parents) to join in this celebration.
You won’t want to miss this special dedication weekend a year from now, June 25 and 26, 2016. We will have a big celebration event on Saturday, and the dedication of the building on Sunday afternoon. On Sunday evening the children’s choirs will be presenting a full concert, and Dr. Kim will be preaching in the Concert Hall of the Center for the Arts.
The day before they come to Jackson the entire Korean delegation will be in New York City. Dr. Kim and Far East Broadcasting Company are bringing eleven children’s Children’s choirs from Korea to perform together at Carnegie Hall in a tribute to the United States for protecting the Korean people during the Korean War – during which Dr. Kim was a houseboy for the US troops, and was befriended by a GI who sent Billy to the USA to for education.
Dr. Kim’s life story was just published by Moody Press. The first printing sold out quickly, but we will have copies in the bookstore soon. His subtitle “From Houseboy to World Evangelist” is a snapshot of the life of this amazing leader, and I couldn’t be more proud that Belhaven will be the only University in America with a building named in his honor.