Arizona Christian University’s historic campus was first used in 1940 not as a college, but as an Army Air Corps airfield. Eight thousand air cadets lived and trained on Thunderbird Airfield #1. On these desert airfields, young men were trained and equipped to combat the global threat of Nazism and defend freedom and liberty across the globe.
Today, eighty years later, pilots have been replaced by students, and dirt and gravel are being replaced by new green athletic turf. Those same desert airfields are now the training ground of a new generation of young men and women — students and athletes training for collegiate athletic competition.
ACU completed the installation of its new football field last November, just in time for the 2020 Homecoming game. Then, in the last few weeks, the softball field (including fencing) was completed, allowing our seniors to practice and compete on their home field prior to graduation. And finally, just last week, the multipurpose soccer/football/practice field was laid down, creating additional space for training and competition for all our teams and intramural programs.
The campus transformation has not been limited merely to sports fields. As ACU Senior Director of Campus Operations, Jon Cline, pointed out, “Our campus improvements are about much more than athletics. We’ve upgraded our classroom experience by embracing new technologies to provide synchromodal learning opportunities in and from every classroom. In addition, an existing classroom auditorium was converted into an intimate performance hall for our music and fine arts students.” Cline continued, “Our new and updated campus offers the space and facilities to support a robust student–life experience and our nationally-ranked academic programs.”
During the 1940s, this piece of earth was used to equip air cadets to fight an epic battle to save Western Civilization as we know it. Today, this same ground is being utilized to equip young followers of Jesus Christ to “Transform Culture with Truth.”