Friends of ACU Library hosted its spring fundraising dinner March 3, featuring Kate Bowler, PhD, New York Times bestselling author, podcast host, cancer survivor, and Duke University professor. The sellout crowd of 250 heard Kate cheerfully demolish the perfectionism that prevents joy and even hilarity during grief, illness, and disappointment. After her address, “Incurable Optimism,” the author of No Cure for Being Human (and Other Truths I Need to Hear) sat down with host Rachel Riley to respond with empathy and humor to questions and comments from the audience.

Before Kate’s speech, James Wiser, Dean of Brown Library, recognized Christopher and Mary Lou Hutson as the 2021 Friends of the Year for their endowment gift to fund the Africana Studies Collection. In response, Chris, an ACU professor in the College of Biblical Studies, acknowledged the generous match to their gift by Mary Lou’s employer, Chubb, Ltd. Mary Lou is a lawyer who leads a team that mediates settlements. Chris explained that their interest in supporting Africana Studies at ACU is rooted in their experience with racially diverse congregations and work settings.

Dean Wiser has set a goal of adding thirty endowments for library collections by 2030. He recited the names of endowments which support the library and invited attendees to plan to make similar gifts.

Dr. Amanda Pittman of the College of Biblical Studies led the invocation. Dr. Laura Carroll of the Adams Center for Teaching and Learning, herself a cancer survivor, introduced the speaker. At the end of the evening, Dr. Steven Moore of the English Department invited everyone to stand and sing “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” as a benediction. Kate stood facing the audience, listening with her head bowed, and wiped away tears when the song ended.