A new campus facility is fostering Christian community thanks to generosity of Dr. Walt and Mrs. Christine Brashier
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
~ 2 Timothy 4:7-8
Visionary business leader. Philanthropist. Family man. To say Dr. Walt Brashier left a legacy is a massive understatement.
Dr. Brashier went home to be with Jesus on March 24, 2021. But before gaining his eternal reward, he made sure to provide a place here on earth that will serve Anderson University students for years to come.
It’s called Brashier Glade.
The on-campus facility, surrounded by tranquil woods, a walking garden and four acres of greenspace, is the new home for Christian Life at Anderson University. Envisioned by Dr. Brashier as a place where students can rest, relax and “do life” together in a Christian community, it’s the hub of AU’s student ministry office. It’s where students, outside of the classroom, can put their faith—and training—into action, advancing the Kingdom of God.
Just as Dr. Brashier intended.
“He always stressed and believed in the importance of a good education,” said his son, Ted Brashier. “He had a great adoration for Anderson University’s mission, Christian education and developed many great friendships through the years with Dr. Whitaker and several other people there on staff. He just loved the school and he loved supporting students through scholarships, through land donations—any way he could to support students and education—he was more than willing to do that.”
Dr. Brashier’s ministry, influential business leadership and philanthropy have made a large Kingdom impact at Anderson University, the Upstate and beyond. Through his powerful, effective evangelistic ministry, many individuals have come to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Many college students have benefited from the Brashier family's generosity.
Dr. Brashier’s daughter, Kathy Brashier Higgins, said both of her parents have put a high value on a Christ-centered education.
“He and my mother, Christine Brashier, made it possible for many young people to further their education at Anderson. Both of my parents have found joy in helping students fulfill their dreams of a college education,” she said.
“The vision for Brashier Glade is really an ideal tribute to my grandfather because he was passionate about the gospel ministry, he was passionate about education and college-age students, especially students training for ministry,” said Dr. Brashier’s grandson, Rev. Dr. Wes Brashier, former vice president for Christian Life and senior campus pastor at AU.
Since Brashier Glade opened its doors in August 2020, it has already hosted numerous Bible studies, retreats and other community activities. Students can gather around a firepit, enjoy ample space for games or hang up a hammock. The wooded grounds provide a tranquil outdoor setting for prayer, meditation and reflection. For example, the property includes two greenspaces specific to those spiritual disciplines: a walking path that meanders through the woods, known as “Walter’s Garden;” and an open lawn for recreation named “Christine’s Meadow.”
Also as intended, Brashier Glade is getting a lot of use. Baptist Collegiate Ministries (BCM) and the Trojan baseball team last year met there for Bible study and fellowship over meals. Freshman fellowships regularly took place, offering first-year students an opportunity to connect with other freshmen in authentic community, away from the hustle and bustle of the main campus. Several improvements have been made to the grounds and plans are underway for renovating interior spaces. Areas to be renovated include the kitchen, dining area, community spaces and recreation room.
Brashier Glade also houses offices for Christian Life and Church Engagement.
...a place where students can rest, relax and “do life” together in a Christian community, it’s the hub of AU’s student ministry office. It’s where students, outside of the classroom, can put their faith—and training—into action, advancing the Kingdom of God.
“Brashier Glade is an oasis on the edge of campus,” said Dr. James Hanson, director of campus ministry and a campus pastor. “As you pull into the driveway or walk down the path, you are immediately struck by the beauty of the grounds. Especially as the azaleas are blooming, the place is alive with color. If you are here in the morning or evening, a herd of deer can often be seen grazing in the field. All of this combines to create an atmosphere that seems to invite students to lay down their worries and concerns, at least temporarily, and experience renewal.
"It is in this atmosphere that we are able to meet students’ needs, whether those be spiritual counseling, mentoring, Bible study, social interaction, or just a place to hang an eno hammock and take a break. I think we have only begun to scratch the surface of the way that this building and this property will be used to positively impact the spiritual lives of students as we point them to Jesus.”
The legacy of Dr. Brashier is alive and well at Anderson University.