category: Campus News

Recently retired C-N president serves as guest speaker at West Point

Dr. J. Randall O’Brien, former president of Carson-Newman University, appears in the West Point Cadet Chapel in New York, where he preached revival services following an invitation to serve as the speaker for West Point’s National Prayer Breakfast.

(March 20, 2019) — In one of his first endeavors in retirement, Dr. J. Randall O’Brien, former president of Carson-Newman University, led the first known revival at West Point Cadet Chapel in New York.

The chapel serves the prestigious United States Military Academy at West Point, known to host cadets who are among America’s best and brightest. O’Brien had once been invited to attend the school as an 18-year-old cadet, but chose to instead honor his commitment to serve in Vietnam, where he was a member of the 101st Airborne Division.

“It was like God saying, ‘OK, now go (to West Point),’” O’Brien said. “I went not only for Randall, I went for God. I gave it everything I had.

O’Brien spoke during various occasions at West Point on Feb. 19-24, including during the National Prayer Breakfast, at four revival services and during three occasions to members of the Officers’ Christian Fellowship.

“Dr. O’Brien’s willingness to travel to West Point to speak to our next generation of young military minds demonstrates his heart for our current and up-and-coming men and women in uniform,” said Scott Faulkenberry, vice president for Advancement. “This is further justification for Carson-Newman honoring the former president with its planned ‘Randall O’Brien Veterans Center’ on campus.”

The center, which will be located on the first floor of Baker Building, adjacent to ROTC, will provide space for students, faculty and staff who are also veterans to meet, relax and socialize. It will house study areas, a kitchenette, comfortable seating and a billiards table.

Those who would like to support the Randall O’Brien Veterans Center’s development may donate at:

Founded in 1851, Carson-Newman is a Christian liberal arts university located in Jefferson City, Tennessee, among the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The University has over 2,500 students and offers 50 undergraduate majors, as well as associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees.

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