One of the legacies of the Russian-American Christian University (RACU) was the development of BEAM (Business & Education as Mission), Inc., which is a private foundation with an endowment based on the net assets from the sale of the RACU campus in Moscow in 2014. The Board of Trustees made the decision to build this foundation in the fall of 2014 for the purpose of supporting Christian educational programs that equipped young people in Russia and Ukraine for leadership roles in their societies. The related priorities of the foundation are to build constructive relations between people of faith in these countries, as well as others who desire peace and reconciliation, and to encourage cross-confessional cooperation in addressing social and humanitarian needs in these nations.
Because the foundation is a legacy of the fifteen-year history of RACU, the Trustees decided to share its story with our supporters and friends. A book that describes the history of RACU is currently under development at InterVarsity Academic Press and is scheduled for publication in 2019. To accompany the book, this visual history has been created for the benefit of the students, faculty, staff and supporters who were so instrumental in its history.
We will be adding more videos and photographs in the ensuing months, so please check back periodically and tell your friends to view this new section as well. We think that schools like RACU will be created in Russia and Ukraine in the years ahead, so this story is not over.
Dr. John A. Bernbaum
President of BEAM, Inc.
The RACU Story
The idea behind this video came from Susan Clark (Assistant to the RACU President), who wanted to tell the story of why young Russians from outside Moscow would travel to the nation’s capital to attend the Russian-American Christian University, which did not have any dormitories and where the cost-of-living was dramatically higher than in their home towns. The original plans for RACU were for a commuter population, but right from the beginning approximately half of the students who enrolled were from all over the country. Eleven students came from the Kirov region, and this video tells the story of two of them, Igor and Vika, who were from the town of Kirovo-Chepetsk, located northeast of Moscow – a fourteen-hour train ride away. The difficulties of the transition from a centralized economy to a free market were also evident in their home town; making the adjustment to the nation’s capital, with its inflated costs, was another challenge for these young students. The video also shows RACU’s rental facility in a building owned by Moscow State University, the university’s second location. The list of those who produced this film, under Susan’s direction, is provided at the end of the video. Run time – 16:58 minutes.
RACU Student Retreat – September 2006
Each school year at RACU began with a student retreat and often was hosted by Americans who attended the event and lead the various sessions. The retreats were a community-building event that helped to launch each year with lots of fun and some powerful teaching. The retreat in September 2006 was hosted by a delegation from the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando, Florida, and the First Presbyterian Church of Gainesville, Florida. The music was often a highlight for the students who came from many different Christian communities. Runtime – 6:41 minutes.
RACU Graduation – May 26, 2007 (Part I)
This video highlights the luncheon for graduates, faculty, staff and Trustees preceding the graduation ceremony, students and faculty putting on their caps and gowns, and the graduation ceremony itself, which was held on Saturday, May 26, 2007. Runtime – 6:20 minutes.
RACU Graduation – May 26, 2007 (Part II)
These photos of the graduates, their families, and many guests at the graduation ceremony are a companion piece to Part I. Accompanied by music, these photos capture the excitement and beauty of this event. Runtime – 6:02 minutes.
RACU Building Dedication Ceremony – May 27, 2010
In May 2001, the Russian-American Christian University purchased a land plot in Moscow in a public auction and began the process of securing building permits and then construction a new campus facility which took ten years to complete. After moving five times in the first fourteen years, it was an extraordinary day when the building was completed, all the permits were received, and the university could open its doors to its students, faculty and supporters – both Russians and Americans. The facility was dedicated on Friday, May 27, 2010, and this momentous event was celebrated together with Russian and American leaders who supported its development in the hope that it would help to build constructive relationships between the two countries. Runtime – 7:46 minutes