In 1985, after a rather inauspicious start to my secondary matriculation at the University of Florida, my first day on Palm Beach Atlantic’s campus was marked by desperation, a plea for “just one more chance”. Providentially, the Dean of Admissions let me into PBA on a probationary basis contingent on a single, winter, mini-semester class and its outcome.
I was blessed to take the class with Dr. Joe Eassa. It was a very small class and we spent four hours per day over three weeks with him. He took an interest in me and was challenging and encouraging. There was only one test at the end of the class and there were four hours allotted for the test. It took nearly the entire four hours, was a series of multiple choice and long form essay questions. I dutifully completed the test, turned it in and crossed my fingers. A few days later I got a call to come see Dr. Eassa, and I immediately thought the worst. When I went in to see him, he handed me the paper, it said 100% on it and he said, “Karl, this is one of the best results I have ever seen.”
Instantly – my life changed. I have only felt the presence of God three times in my life – when I was saved, when I asked my wife to marry me and when hearing what Dr. Eassa said to me that day. Everything was different from that point forward. I hastily finished school, taking 18-24 hours per semester, and I had many more classes with Dr. Eassa. He cared for me, invested in me academically and spiritually, and I think there is no greater example of living out this school’s motto, “Enlightening Minds, Enriching Souls and Extending Hands”.
And that is why my family supports this school. We want to support a place where God can make a transformational difference in people’s lives. Where the administration, staff and faculty stand firm on a biblical foundation, and are unwavering in their commitment to Christ, the students and the community. PBA is an institution that does not bend to the winds of cultural change, and that boldly lives out the love of Christ and its commitment to the American free enterprise system.
I am blessed to be a part of this University’s past, and as a member of the Board of Trustee’s, its present; however, what excites me the most is seeing what God’s plans are for this University in the future. I am so thankful for this school. It forever changed the trajectory of my life, and I would not be afforded the incredible blessing of giving back if God did not use this school to achieve His purpose and glory in my life.
Karl H. Watson, Jr.
Advancement Committee Chair, Board of Trustees