A New Day at Miles
But the grand-opening ceremonies narrowly missed being rained out by the thunderstorms that drenched the Birmingham area in the morning.
Fortunately, the rain stopped, and the ceremony -- attended by at least 600 Miles College students, teachers, administrators, trustees and alumni, as well as elected officials and area residents -- went on as planned under cloudy skies.
Miles College President Dr. George T. French Jr. told attendees that he would keep his remarks brief, since he wanted to take advantage of the break in the rain to finish the ceremony.
And French, who has also served as a pastor, identified the real force behind the welcome break in the weather.
"God has smiled upon us," French said. "And I would say to all -- because I know there were a lot of people praying that God would move the rain -- I asked him. I talked to him. I said, 'Now Lord, if I read my Bible correctly, you allowed the sun to stand still, so if you can do the sun, I know you can do the rain.'"
In any case, the attendees were able to enjoy the music provided by the Miles College band and choir and to celebrate three badly needed new campus structures, the result of a $20 million capital improvement project.
They are the 204-bed Bishop Teresa Snorton Residence Hall; the President George T. French Jr. Student Activity Center, which will feature a Starbucks, a movie theater and a dining hall; and the Welcome and Admissions Center.