Director cultivates community

Andrew Lehr has been the Resident Director of Walker for four years. In that time, he has developed relationships with students and fellow faculty alike.

Lehr spent his college years at Taylor University as a biblical literature major. He always felt that he was being called to ministry, but he soon discovered that God called him in a different direction.

Lehr was a resident advisor for over two years at Taylor, and that inevitably shaped his desire to be a resident director.

While he applied to several universities after college, John Brown University was one of the only colleges that responded to his application. Previously, he had not heard of the university, but was quickly drawn in by everyone’s kindness.

He accepted the position after the interview went better than he had hoped.

“I think being here has been just an incredibly influential part of my life,” Lehr said. “It’s a very healing place for my wife and I. It’s rekindled a love of mine for student development.”

One of Lehr’s favorite things about working at the University is noticing how the upper classman have grown and how they have progressed since beginning their college journey.

Lehr recalled a particular moment when he was most proud to be associated with the University. One of the students was working on a senior project when the hard drive for her computer died. It seemed that all hope was lost until the girl’s housemates came to help her late into the night to finish what needed to be done.

“That’s the kind of community we want,” Lehr said.

Lehr loves being able to live and work around the people that he’s serving, and while he absolutely adores the public relations, he dislikes the logistics of the job. For any events that happen in Walker, there are little things that he has to see to in order for them to be a success.

Acadia Kimball, resident assistant for the Koinonia hall for Walker, can attest to Lehr’s success as a resident director. Kimball heard prior to meeting Lehr that he was funny and overall easy to be around. When she actually met him and got to know him, she discovered just how true that was.

“Those in his leadership class just absolutely love him,” Kimball said. “He’s down to earth and really easy to relate to.”

She also mentioned how passionate Lehr is in his job, and how connected he is with the students. Kimball said Lehr makes a point of leaving his office door open so that students can enter whenever they want.

Lehr relishes the opportunity to cultivate relationships with the people in his dorm. Lehr also tries to keep the resident assistants informed of events whether or not they are Walker related.

Kimball receives several emails a day of reminders of events and suggestions on how to make Walker better for residents. Kimball also thinks he is good at getting people connected and involved in the community here at JBU.

“He constantly strives to make sure that everyone feels active and comfortable, and that is what truly makes him a great resident director,” Kimball said.