This week brings celebration to the Warner University community as we honor the retirement of our president of 25 years, Dr. Gregory V. Hall.
Dr. Gregory V. Hall became the second President of then, Warner Southern College, in 1991. Although the school possessed 300 acres of land on the west side of Highway 27, only a gymnasium and a dorm were present on that side. The institution, however, would not stay that size for long. On that winter day in 1992, as President Hall approached the pulpit to make his first of several significant public addresses, a transforming leader began a quarter-century of life-changing work. At the onset of his Presidency, Dr. Hall shared a vision of what he believed Warner would become.
Over the course of the next twenty-five years, President Hall’s original vision for Warner would become a reality. As Warner became a university, it would experience exponential growth in virtually every area related to an institution of higher learning. Spiritual, physical, intellectual, and fiscal escalation would occur at an unprecedented rate. Perhaps most importantly, what it meant to be a Warner Royal would become clear. To be a part of Warner University meant one would take part in something that was truly “Beyond Belief”. Its mission would transform the minds and hearts of the community toward faithful service fueled by super-natural endurance.
Under the guidance of President Hall, Warner University would become synonymous with daring obedience and radical expansion.
Less than a decade after President Hall first addressed Warner it had doubled its enrollment, growing from a small community of fewer than 500 students to a full-fledged college of over 1,000. In the fifteen years that followed, Warner expanded to nearly 1,500 students representing a myriad of states, countries, and academic majors.
When President Hall began his tenure, Warner Southern College’s net assets were estimated at just over 3.5 million dollars. The college was rich in land but poor in funds. Today, Warner University has carried out wise infrastructure investments that have made the campus far more valuable. By 2015, the university’s estimated net assets had grown to more than 17.5 million dollars.
Bold vision and courageous action transformed this institution into a community with the capacity to be great. Such a reality came about solely due to a leader who foresaw such a future for Warner long before anyone else had the audacity to believe it possible. In fact, it seems as if Warner University can boast of an experience that is “Beyond Belief” primarily because its second President exemplified that exact type of leadership from the very beginning of his presidency in 1991.
It is certainly no coincidence that as President Hall steps down from a post he has held for over half of Warner University’s lifespan that even more expansion is both under construction, as well as set to begin. There is perhaps no greater legacy to an outgoing leader than to depart to the sound of ground breaking, to the sound of hammers and saws; with the sight of dust in the air.
Warner University is still becoming the institution of higher education it is called to be, and the reason such a hopeful and ambitious future is possible is due to only the strongest of Presidential Leadership.
Celebration events will be taking place on Warner’s campus throughout the week for faculty and staff. For the community, donors, family and friends, the Presidential Retirement Banquet will be held at Lake Ashton Thursday, April 28.
President Hall’s final commencement ceremony is this Saturday, April 30 on Warner University’s campus at 9 am, where 300 graduates will walk the stage and accept their diplomas from Dr. Hall. This will mark close to 7,000 diplomas that Dr. Hall has handed out. We are all honored to have served our Lord along side a leader like Greg Hall.
Written with excerpts by Ty Benbow from “25 Years of Progress”, a book
honoring President Hall’s tenure.
Thank you Dr. Hall for your dedication and vision for your Warner University’s service. Have been impressed by the growth of Warner over the last 16 years I have wintered in Florida and South Lake Wales Church of God. May our gracious God give you a fantastic retirement.
Congratulations to you and Patt on your retirement. Best wishes and God Bless, Lois (Huber) Callender
I am sure your family is very proud of you and your accomplishments.
I know that your parents, Kenny and Joyce, raised you the right way, in the way of the Lord, and it shows.
“Well done, my good and faithful servant.” You used the gifts the Lord gave you.
Love in Christ,
Margie Huber Palco (formerly from the Warren, PA church)
Thank you Greg for being a faithful servant of the Lord. It has been a joy serving with you across the years. May your next chapter be as fulfilling. Grace and peace
I had the privilege of working as a Resident Director in the 1993-94 school year at the then Warner Southern College. Dr. Hall was a kind, steady, quietly-confident, and faithful leader and person with a great smile. I remember sharing a connection with him of him being from PA and me graduating from Grove City College in PA. I still have positive associations of him as a person when he comes to mind. Congratulations on a great service and labor of love in your presence at Warner and in Lake Wales.
Wow! Our family is really blessed by the leadership of you and Patt. Thankful for your gifts of wisdom and leading of young adults. Take a breath of fresh air and enjoy your retirement. Love to all your family.
I will never forget my first personal encounter with Dr. and Mrs. Hall. I was a married ministry student with a family and worked in a variety of places to support my family and go to school. I was working security one evening and around 9 pm as I was walking the courtyard, I met Bro and Sis Hall taking a prayer walk. As I shook their hands, I saw in their eyes a holy purpose to each other and for this wonderful school I called Warner Southern. During my years at Warner, I took classes where Dr. Hall was teaching…II Year preaching and Philosophy. Most of all I learned what it meant to be fervent in my calling. Thank you Dr. Hall for living everyday what you taught and preached.
Pastor Bruce and Judy Underhill
Congrats to Greg and Pat! What a wonderful life of service you have led. We knew you were destined for greatness. You changed so many lives in Butler Pa all those years ago. (Not to mention that you were Chris and my first crush ! Even though we were 12 or 13! Hugs to you !