As a high school senior I remember passing through the campus of Point University (then Atlanta Christian College in East Point) taking a high school friend home. As I drove down Dodson Drive, through the main College campus with NBA All-Star Dwight Howard sitting in the passenger seat, never in a million years would I have thought I would become a student at Point University.
After graduating from Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy and taking classes at a local community college, I decided to drop out and join the work force. Nearly five years later, God placed it upon my heart to return to school. So I enrolled at Point. That is where my journey began.
When I came to Point University, I had the notion of, “What could I get from this institution?” But the more I learned, it became more evident that this thing we call the “Jesus Story” is bigger than ourselves; it is more meaningful to invest into the lives others, and it’s less about ourselves. What makes Point University special is the people and what God is doing through the lives of the people who are affiliated with this University. It’s the people that make this place so special. When I was a student here, it was the caring professors, administrators and coaches that invested into my life. I’m not sure where I would be today if it wasn’t for Dr. Lacey Southerland’s guidance in helping me be the best student that I could be in my field of study (child and youth development) or Ms. Woolfolk’s help in teaching me to become a better math student and giving me confidence in a subject that was previously my most challenging. I’m forever grateful for the time Dr. Jim Donavan poured into me while being a part of his devotional small group once a week.
Taking Biblical studies classes here helped me interpret God’s word appropriately and my experience as a Campus Life Minister (CLM) taught me the value of Christian community, which was essential to my growth not only as a follower of Christ but a witness of God’s goodness.
While earning my education, I had the privilege to play basketball for four years. During these four years we were able to build lasting memories like winning a regional championship my junior year. But it’s not the accomplishments or personal accolades that have made my time here as a player meaningful; it’s the relationships that I’ve made among teammates and coaches that made the experience of being a student-athlete so special.
As a player, seeing Coach Bryant Marshall and Coach Alan Wilson be great examples of Godly men and learning that it’s possible to be a good coach and family man, while serving the Lord without compromise were priceless experiences. Coach Wilson has really made an impact on my life. As a player and even now as a coach, he is someone that I’ve always looked up to, and he has invested a tremendous amount of time, energy, wisdom and love into me as a person. For this, I’m forever grateful to have him in my life. The entire coaching staff, administrators and athletic trainers at Point University are great, and I’m confident in saying we are all committed to investing into the lives of our student-athletes.
As head women’s basketball coach now, and a former player, it’s funny to see myself in many of the players that I coach today. Now I know the value of discipline, commitment, unity and not having any regrets that my coaches use to speak to us about. Our motto for our women’s basketball team is God first, academics second and then basketball. Though we are not perfect, we strive to keep things in that order and everything else should take care of itself. Coaching at Point has been a wonderful learning experience with its share of ups and downs, but it has truly been a blessing to coach and work at the same place where I played and graduated from. Our players have worked so hard and have bought into what assistant coach Sara Rondeau and I have instructed them to do. Now it’s about finishing the season off strong, and our players deserve to have their first winning season competing in our NAIA league.
I am also grateful for the leadership of this University. The vision that God has placed in President Dean Collins is truly impactful and rewarding to the Kingdom of God. Point University’s mission of educating students for Christ-centered service and leadership throughout the world is something that we all are aiming towards here.
Now it’s about what can I give back to this University for instilling and investing so much into my life. However, as I continue to coach here and pour into my players and others in the community, I’m amazed by God’s love and compassion, and I often find myself again being a recipient. Because it’s the Point University community that continues to leave a mark on my life that can never be erased!
Tory Wooley ’12
Head Women’s Basketball Coach