Review Editor Speaks at Atlantic Union College’s 125th Anniversary

BY CINDY KURTZHALS, Public Relations Director, Atlantic Union College, writing from South Lancaster, Massachusetts

ill Knott, editor and executive publisher of Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines, was guest speaker for the joint Atlantic Union College and South Lancaster Academy 125th Anniversary worship service on Sabbath, September 22, 2007. Knott graduated from Atlantic Union College (AUC) in 1979, from   South Lancaster Academy in 1975, and Browning Elementary School in 1971. 

“We were extremely pleased to have Elder Bill Knott as our speaker for this very important commemorative occasion,” remarked Norman Wendth, president of Atlantic Union College. “He is a graduate of AUC and it is only appropriate that a favorite son would give this address.”

Knott added, “Atlantic Union College learned long ago that it’s not enough to boast of being the oldest Adventist college still on its original site.  Any college that wants to attract and educate the best and brightest of the Adventist Church has to be a creative, flexible institution that can adapt to the changing needs of Adventist parents and students.”

FEATURED SPEAKER: Bill Knott, Atlantic Union College class of 1979, editor and executive publisher of Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines, was guest speaker for the joint Atlantic Union College and South Lancaster Academy 125th Anniversary worship service on Sabbath, September 22, 2007. [AUC Photo]
Immediate members of the Knott family members are all either AUC graduates or former employees of the school. Debby (Rochon) Knott, the editor’s wife, graduated in 1981; and brothers David in 1978, and Ronald in 1981. His father, David Knott, graduated in 1951 and is a professor emeritus of English. Rose Marie, his mother, retired as secretary for the dean of students.

“One-hundred-twenty-five years is a major landmark,” Wendth said. “We are the cornerstone of Adventist education and we call ourselves that because we are the oldest continuously operated Adventist institution of higher education. It’s a very important role we play for the Church, especially in the northeast. This 125th anniversary is an opportunity to stop and reflect on that role in the Seventh-day Adventist Church and to remind others of what our contributions have been.”

 “This has been a very exciting year at AUC,” added Bordes Henry Saturné, planning committee chairman. “South Lancaster Academy and Atlantic Union College joined their energies to celebrate this 125th anniversary. We are grateful for the presence of the Holy Spirit, who spoke meaningfully throughout the various ceremonies on our theme ‘Share the Light.’”

The 125th Anniversary Celebration presentations began in February, March and April at the Stoneham, Massachusetts; Brunswick, Maine; Union Springs and Flatbush, New York churches. 

Donald King, chairman of the Atlantic Union College Board of Trustees, shared an opening message at a joint chapel of the College, academy, and elementary school on March 27, 2007, at the historic Village Church in South Lancaster. Coverage of this event was featured in Central Massachusetts with a pictorial spread covering the B section of the Worcester Telegram and Gazette. 

 “We have been inspired at every anniversary event,” says Saturné, “Vibrant messages have been brought through our Sabbath speakers—all former Atlantic Union College students: Angel Rodríguez, Executive Secretary of the New York Conference; Dr. Benjamin Reeves, [a former] president of Oakwood College; and, now, Bill Knott.” 

Faculty and staff also made 125th Anniversary presentations at every conference camp meeting in the Atlantic Union Conference. This includes Bermuda; the Luso-Brazilian, English, two Hispanic, Franco-Haitian, and United camp meetings in the Greater New York Conference; two weekends at the New York Conference; Hispanic, English, and Haitian camp meetings in Northeastern Conference; two camp meeting weekends in Northern New England Conference; and two camp meeting weekends in Southern New England—English, Hispanic, Haitian, and Portuguese.

FORMER OAKWOOD PRESIDENT: Benjamin Reeves, a former president of Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, is another distinguished alumnus of Atlantic Union College. [AUC photo]
“Because of the vision of our forefathers in 1882 establishing ‘that New England School,’ we have leaders such as Bill Knott who went to Browning, who graduated from South Lancaster Academy and AUC,” said Jon Nosek, development director at South Lancaster Academy. “These are three solid institutions that have gone through the [Great] Depression, wars, and all kinds of storms. 

“The schools have been fortresses of quality Seventh-day Adventist education for 125 years—strong institutions who have produced leaders. Leaders including doctors, missionaries, teachers, engineers, lawyers, farmers, people from all walks of life making a contribution all over the world. And, the schools have produced lay people who, because of their solid Christian background, have raised other generations who have attended these three schools and have become leaders in their fields.”
Said Knott, “I’ve been gratified in the last few years that Adventists throughout the Northeast have recognized the new directions AUC has taken in blending a strong commitment to spiritual renewal with a passionate commitment to the liberal arts.  Colleges that do those two things successfully both survive and thrive.”

More information on the school, which has been a member of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges since 1945, can be found at


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