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Lander University welcomes back descendants of founder for movie premiere

October 30, 2009

The new film "S. Lander - His Life and Legacy," which chronicles the life of Lander University founder the Rev. Samuel Lander, premiered Saturday, Oct. 24, in the university's Josephine B. Abney Cultural Center Auditorium. From as far north as Toronto, Canada, and as far west as San Carlos, Calif., nearly 100 descendents of the Rev. Lander were on hand for the event. They came back to Lander with a sense of pride in their heritage and they left the auditorium with a renewed commitment to carrying on the Rev. Lander's legacy for generations to come.

"I was moved to tears," said David Lander Henderson, great-grandson of the Rev. Lander. "The Lander family has always been very close, but I think we all understand that it's not just an appreciation of our heritage. It's what we, ourselves, have contributed and will contribute to the name Lander. I even learned a few things from the film."

The film was written and co-produced by Paul Crutcher, Lander radio station manager, and Dr. Robert Stevenson, chair of Lander's Department of Mass Communication and Theatre. Both were elated to have members of the Lander family on campus to view the project the two have spent the last 15 months completing.

"To have family members walk up and say, 'You just don't know how much this means to us, you captured the essence of Samuel Lander,'" explained Crutcher. "That really tells us that we accomplished something with the film."

Stevenson added that beyond what the film means to the Lander family, "the film will boost the pride Lander students and alumni feel toward their university. Students seeing the film will know where the university came from and they will walk away wanting to do their best."

When asked what project they would be working on next, Crutcher and Stevenson relaxed their shoulders, bowed their heads and said in unison with relief, "sleep."