Freed-Hardeman University will usher in the 154th academic year with the annual Tolling of the Bell Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023, at 10:30 am in Loyd Auditorium. The program will include scripture, hymns and prayers. This year’s Masters of the Bell are FHU alumni Dr. and Mrs. Chikezie O. Madu. FHU alumnus Luke Guard will issue the challenge to new and returning students.
“I want new and returning students to find their people, follow Jesus and fully embrace the truest thing about themselves: and that is that they’re a beloved child of God,” Guard said. He is the Director of Spiritual Life at Jackson Christian in Jackson, Tennessee, where he oversees campus life, the Bible department and student community service, and he also teaches middle school and high school Bible. Guard and his wife, Ashton Yenawine Guard (FHU ’10), have two children, Hudson and Charli Kate. They are members of Skyline Church of Christ in Jackson. Ryan Merritt, SGA president, will accept the challenge.
Dr. Madu will issue a prayer for God’s blessings and favor for the 2023-24 academic year. The family has a strong FHU connection as his wife Eno (Pamela), her father and her five siblings are all FHU alumni. Both life-long learners, the Madus earned Masters of Education in curriculum and instruction from Freed-Hardeman. Dr. Madu teaches at White Station High School in Memphis, works as an adjunct professor at the University of Memphis and serves as a deacon at the Oliver Creek church of Christ. His wife also taught in Memphis City Schools, and she is a Registered Nurse Educator with a diverse educational and training background.
In 2021, Dr. Madu was awarded a Claes Nobel Educator of the Year: Teacher of the Year award from the NSHSS for his 23 years of work at White Station High School. Madu began his teaching career in his home country of Nigeria. He earned a Ph.D. in cancer genetics from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. The couple lives in Bartlett, Tennessee and has a son, Chinua, a sophomore at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; they also cherish the memory of their daughter, Elechi, who passed away earlier this year when she became critically ill during her recovery from a bone marrow transplant.
The mission of Freed-Hardeman University is to help students develop their God-given talents for His glory by empowering them with an education that integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service. With locations in Henderson and Memphis, FHU offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees.