On April 30, 2023, Tabor College will reestablish Tabor Day and celebrate the spirit of Tabor with a variety of activities on campus. Friends and supporters are invited to participate in the Sunday event.
“It’s a day to commemorate and celebrate what God has done through Tabor,” says Tabor College President David Janzen. “It’s an opportunity to recognize the resilience and faithfulness of those who have gone before and to carry on that legacy as we move into a promising future. The Spirit of Tabor is the evidence of God’s Spirit at work transforming lives through this beautiful college and community.”
When Tabor College’s first building was destroyed April 30, 1918, by fire the very existence of the fledgling educational institution was in jeopardy. Within hours, pledges were committed to rebuilding. The Tabor community declared their college was neither dead nor destroyed—only its building. The spirit of Tabor was a flame that could not be extinguished.
The anthem, Tabor’s Triumph, written in remembrance of that fateful day, evoked the spirit of Tabor. “May the Lord now prosper you, Splendid Tabor, great and new. Tabor’s spirit, brave and true, Glorious triumph waits for you,” proclaimed the text.
Two years later, April 30, 1920, the Tabor community gathered to celebrate the opening of two buildings that had emerged from the ashes of one. What is now the H.W. Lohrenz Building and the Mary J. Regier Building stood as a testament to God’s grace and to the resilient vision of the Tabor faithful. It was a day of commitment and faith.
This inaugural “Tabor Day” was also Arbor Day. So, trees were planted to symbolize growth, presence and hope. The earliest Tabor Days also included landscaping and addressing campus needs. Soon it became an annual holiday set aside to inspire spiritual and financial support. Later, Tabor Day included worship services, special messages, student life activities and concerts. In time, however, the vision and energy for Tabor Day waned, and the celebration was but a memory.
This year, that celebration will be revived on April 30, 2023, when the campus community will reestablish Tabor Day and celebrate the spirit of Tabor. There will be a variety of activities on campus, including planting a tree in remembrance of that inaugural Tabor Day. The college invites the community and its supports to join the celebration. A “Celebrating the Spirit of Tabor” video, which will be made available to constituent churches, will provide more information.
Tabor College is the Mennonite Brethren college located in Hillsboro, Kansas. The mission of Tabor College, founded in 1908, is to prepare people for a life of learning, work and service for Christ and his kingdom.