The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on November 10, 1968 · Page 196
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 196

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 10, 1968
Page 196
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"The impossible dream" (continued) in Daytona Beach, when Dr. Moody makes a progress report at the Florida Baptist Convention. Adding dramatic emphasis to his words: the 30-member college chorale singing "The Impossible Dream." The unusual story of Palm Beach Atlantic College goes back to 1960, when representatives to the Florida Baptist Convention agreed to look into the feasibility of starting another college to supplement Stetson University. In 1964, a 200-acre site in Palm Beach Gardens, donated to the Baptists by millionaire-developer John D. MacArthur, was selected as the place to build the planned college. Fund raising soon began and $800,000 was collected within 18 months. Enter Billy Graham. Evange list Graham announced his intention to found a college, possibly in Florida. During the next year, while he considered possible sites, the Florida Baptists agreed to combine their efforts with Graham in establishing a school. But Graham changed his mind. His decision not to build a college, announced last February, is termed by Dr. Moody, in retrospect, as: "Possibly the best thing that ever happened to us." With Graham out of the picture, the Florida Baptists hoped to have a college campus on the Palm Beach Gardens site by the fall of 1969. Recalls Dr. Moody: "Then all of a sudden people who had made donations said they wanted the college started this fall. No matter what." "So," he continues, "we had 5y2 months to start a college." "It was 1968 or nothing," adds Richard Gruenwald, director of public relations. Asked to evaluate the chances of opening the college by September, a well-known educator concluded: It is not possible. But he made a few recommendations. Appoint Dr. Moody president of the college; hire Dr. Warren Jones, retired president of Union College in Tennessee, now an educational consultant; build an interim campus, using the buildings owned by Dr. Moody's giant (4,000 member congregation) First Baptist Church in West Palm Beach. Describing the next eventful months of college building, Dr. Moody says: "There were times when I knew the man who said it could not be done was telling the truth." But it was done. In half the time usually required, Dr. Jones designed a curriculum and hastily hired a qualified faculty. The problem of finding studentsmostly high school seniors have already made a col- 1 " ' w . - . ".. t -,-., .ft Many of the church buildings of First Baptist Church have been converted for classes, which started on schedule in September. 34 All Florida Magoiin

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