Alumnus of the Year: “All the Glory Goes to God”

By Naomi Balk and Bob Holmes, Columbia International University

Ralph Enlow-CIU Alumnus of the YearDr. Ralph Enlow (‘72/’82) felt a bit sheepish about receiving the 2017 Columbia International University Alumnus of the Year Award. That’s because when he was on staff at CIU, he advocated for the award, even laying out biblical reasoning for the honor.

“Here I stand a victim of my own biblical reasoning. O the irony,” Enlow chuckled before hundreds of fellow alumni, faculty and staff gathered for the President’s Banquet at Homecoming 2017.

Enlow served for 28 years as an educational leader at CIU, including six years as senior vice president and provost. Today he is president of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) in Orlando, Florida.

Many at banquet who studied and served alongside Enlow, remember him fondly.

“Ralph brought vision, organization and academic excellence, to CIU,” said Don Jones (’70), CIU director of Human Resources. “He also brought a whole lot of humor and fun, he really did,” Jones added.

In his acceptance address, Enlow deflected attention away from himself, and pointed to the heroes of the faith in Hebrews 11, calling them “models for us to imitate” who “reflect the kindness of the power and triumph of God’s grace.”

“I want to be a good steward of this opportunity that is so awkward for me so that all glory goes to God,” Enlow said.

Mary Faith Phillips (‘54/’60), former head of the Bible teaching program remembered Enlow for “his ability with words and expressing himself,” and appreciated him as a colleague.

“He was always gracious and supportive of me and what I was doing,” Phillips said. “He is a great guy, a wonderful person.”

CIU Chancellor Dr. Bill Jones (’91) is grateful for his friendship with Enlow.

“He made a big investment in my life,” Jones said. Twenty-seven years he ministered professionally and personally and into my family.”

Enlow stressed “others are more worthy than I,” after listing several CIU alumni and their accomplishments and service.

“I do not need recognition, nor do I deserve it,” Enlow said. Instead he encouraged the crowd to persevere in the motto of CIU, “To Know Him and to Make Him Known.”

“Join me in praising the only One to whom is due glory and praise. Solo Deo Gloria.”