“The Builders”

In 1901, Judson celebrated its first Founders’ Day. On the 7th of January, members of the the Judson community set aside a time to commemorate the vision and contributions of the college’s founders, to recognize the accomplishments of current students and faculty, and to consciously look ahead to the future, trusting in and modeling their lives after the generosity and faithfulness of God and their Judson “ancestors”.

John Trotwood Moore, a native of Marion and graduate of Howard College (now Samford University), composed the following poem for the 1901 Founders’ Day and read it at the celebration.

They built for rugged century; shall we build less than they–
Those sturdy men of brain and brawn who long have passed away?
They raised these pillars deep in earth to stand the weight of time;
They delved, they built–the straw, the brick, the unresponsive clod;
They worked and prayed–were not afraid; they struck, and left to God;
With square and trowel broad and true they reared with faith and prayer,
Till from the rugged ashlar grew this polished pile and rare.
They built for the coming century; aye, little did they dream
The harnessed lightning of its light would strip the steeds of steam;
That farther than the peering stars flashed o’er their vision’s ken–
Aye, farther than their lengthening light–would leap the thoughts of men.

They wrought and reared, and never feared; they gave their goods and gold;
They sowed to reap the coming years, and not the husks of old;
And, quickened by their spirit great that burst the Age’s ban,
They reared a broader, sweeter creed–the brotherhood of man.
They built for the unborn century–bend low, bend low thy head;
Let Reverence raise the sacred shaft of memory to the dead–
The woman who within these walls Atlanta’s race outran,
Yet gave her golden trophies to uplift the race of man;
For mightier than the thunderbolts that now pulse thro’ the wave,
And subtler than the secret things that Science ever gave,
And purer, brighter, for the dross of Time and Tide withstood,
Is this great jewel of the age–enlightened womanhood.
Then let us build, and, building, know that grand as is our own,
The tower of our age will be the next one’s paving stone.
Yet he who builds right earnestly, by faith through many years,
Will rear a structure that will last–builds better than he knows.