It’s a Pensacola Christian College tradition. Each year, shortly before finals begin, students exchange a small paper ticket for a copy of the annual Summit Yearbook. Though the pickup location, theme, and appearance of the yearbook have changed over the years, the tradition of remembering has stayed the same.
Beginning Friday, April 29, excitement and nostalgia unified campus as students once again picked up their copy of Summit, this time from the Commons Florida Room. Over the next few days, the memento shaded in blues and oranges could be seen across campus, from the Commons to classrooms, from the Varsity Terrace to residence hall rooms.
One of the opening pages of the yearbook explains the 2021–2022 theme “Be Renewed,” based on Ephesians 4:23–24. Josiah McClanahan (Jr., NC), a member of the Summit staff, explained, “To ‘Be Renewed’ is to be remade by God completely. Something new in Him and filled with life and vibrance.”
Katelyn Francisco (Jr., FL), who has been helping with the Summit yearbook since last fall, shared some of the ways the yearbook’s interior highlights the theme: “The yearbook shows a lot of normal campus activities that help us as students be renewed. These include Missions Conference, Bible Conference, . . . the special speakers in chapel, church services, and Christian Service as well.”
Katelyn added that chapel especially has helped her focus on renewal. “I have seen the ‘Be Renewed’ theme in a lot of the chapel messages this year,” she said. “Just hearing about how God has worked in people’s lives and how He can work in mine, as well as seeing Him work, is amazing.”
It was during chapel that College President Troy Shoemaker unveiled this year’s Summit. “I want to take some time today to look back with gratefulness, thankfulness to the Lord for a wonderful year,” he said.
In addition to revealing the yearbook design, Dr. Shoemaker announced a very special recipient of the 2021–2022 yearbook dedication: his wife, Denise Shoemaker. “She’s not surprised; I couldn’t keep a secret from her,” Dr. Shoemaker said as Mrs. Shoemaker joined him at the Crowne Centre podium. Rather than reading the actual dedication, Dr. Shoemaker shared about Mrs. Shoemaker’s 33 years of service at the College. In addition to being a secretary, Mrs. Shoemaker worked as General Office Manager and Director of Office Services for many years. For the past 10 years, she has served as Assistant to the President and Secretary to the Board of Directors.
“I can’t tell you how fulfilling it is to work alongside my husband and to share in this ministry. We love this place, but we never dreamed how we would be able to serve together and serve you,” Mrs. Shoemaker said in response to the dedication. “Can I just say thank you, to you, thank you to my husband, for the dedication. It’s very kind, very generous.”
“I will treasure this yearbook,” Mrs. Shoemaker added.
In addition to its dedication and the many normal student activities such as Greek Rush, the Bible Conference Picnic, and the Christmas Lights Concert, this year’s Summit gives additional space to collegian life, including pictures of various collegian sports and outings.
Another new feature includes highlighting student-submitted photos, which now have the students’ names along with the pictures they submitted. “That way the student-submitted photos are extra obvious now instead of just listing [the students’] names in acknowledgments on the credits page,” explained Esther Hallman, the Summit advisor.
Because the yearbook must be sent to print in February, some key College activities cannot be included in the printed version. However, a link inside Summit takes students to a PDF that will include several end-of-the semester events, such as the recent Lady Eagles basketball team winning the National Championship, the 2022 graduation ceremonies, and the new tradition of Greek Week.
Each year’s Summit, from the printed version to the additional PDF, is the result of hard work and team effort. As they consider student-submitted pictures and choose which ones to include, the Summit staff focus on representing the student body well and maintaining the high quality that students and staff have come to expect. Depending on that year’s needs, students on the Summit staff may help with interior layout, photo editing, proofreading, and the Summit distribution. Students can even receive college credit for participating in the yearbook practicum.
Josiah shared his reasons for joining Summit staff. “I wanted to join Summit to gain some ‘real-world’ experience and improve my design capabilities,” he said. As one of the staff members who helped with interior layout, Josiah used his skills in a practical way; additionally, he made friends and was able to be a part of the excitement that surrounds each year’s Summit reveal. “Everyone I had the chance to work with was kind and helpful,” he said.
Jessica Perry (So., CA), a student editor for Summit, explained that the experience of working on the Summit staff helped her learn and grow. “It never felt like a class because I was working on a project with people I really loved being around. I got to know so many more people in my field and in the professional writing field through yearbook that I never would have met because we are in different classes,” Jessica said. “I have learned so much about the design and publishing process from working with them that I would have never learned as quickly without this experience.”
From individual student photos to pictures that highlight academics, collegian life, and the many student activities from this past year, this year’s Summit is one that is meant to point to the life that being renewed in Christ offers.
“I truly hope we were able to capture the spirit of this year,” Josiah said. “From the many student activities, sports accomplishments, and the blessings that God has provided this year, I think we were able to solidify a lot of exceptional moments for the student body to look back on!”