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November 14, 2016

For Namans, Giving is a Family Endeavor

namansChristian Union supporters Dr. Vincent and Dian Naman have lovingly served side by side over the course of 31 years (and counting) of marriage. Together, they have raised four godly children and have made a significant impact on their community through their professional endeavors, service to their home church, and their commitment to furthering Christ's Kingdom.

Vincent is a graduate of Princeton University ('82), Dian of Columbia ('84). Growing up in a middle class neighborhood of New York City, Vincent was encouraged to pursue the best education possible. Similarly, Dian, who migrated from Jamaica to New York at age 14, was taught never to take for granted the opportunity to receive an education. The couple passed on to their own children this high value for education, and all four of their children graduated from top-tier institutions. This commitment to academic excellence also inspires their community in Columbus, Georgia, where they have been featured in local magazines and other media outlets.

Vincent, a plastic surgeon, has been practicing since 1995, and since 2002 has led a plastic surgery center in Columbus, Georgia. Dian (RN) has served the practice since its launch as practice administrator, where she facilitates smooth operations, including assisting in the operating room.

A deep-rooted faith in Christ is evident in the Naman family. "As a couple, we have always looked to God as our source of all that is good. We go to church together and serve together." Their faith also informs their parenting as they sought to shape children who "always know the difference between God's instructions for our lives and what is culturally acceptable."

The Naman family approaches life and vocation with grace, poise, ambition, joy, excellence, and unshakeable faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Dian has always kept Matthew 6:33 close to her mind and heart: "but seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

Christian Union and the Naman family crossed paths when Vincent and Dian's son Luke (Dartmouth '15) became involved with the ministry at Dartmouth. "By then we had already sent two children to Ivy League schools," Vincent explained, "and we had a strong sense that there was a need for such an organization on these campuses."

"When Luke became involved with Christian Union at Dartmouth, we were quite impressed. He developed a sense of belonging, gained a sense of community, and had a level involvement that was life changing."

Familiar with the challenges Christian students face at leading universities, the Namans were struck by the difference in what was available to Luke and his peers: "Christian Union provided a wonderful outlet for students trying to maintain their faith in a secular environment."

During his time at Dartmouth, Luke participated in spoken Word: The Ivy League Bible Memory Challenge competition, sponsored by Christian Union and others. Christian Union hosted the event to encourage students to embrace the value in memorizing Scripture. For "The Man in the Mirror," Luke and his co-winner, Joshua Echebiri '14, wove together 35 verses taken from 13 books of the Bible, including six verses from Ecclesiastes and seven from First Corinthians. The duo's compelling performance took first place. This, along with Bible courses and mentorship, had a profound effect on Luke's spiritual development.

As parents of a student active in the ministry, the Namans developed something of an insider's perspective of the program and effectiveness of the ministry. Thanks to this, the family discovered the vision of Christian Union and their personal generosity aligned beautifully: "We hope the next generation of leaders will boldly follow the narrow path of righteousness; that godly behaviors will have become well established habits before these children become tomorrow's leaders."

In a sea of potential giving opportunities, Christian Union stands apart to the Namans. They believe that Christian Union "reaches tomorrow's leaders at a point when laying a good Christian foundation will have a tremendous impact on the path of their lives and careers." Vincent and Dian emphasize that timing is everything: "if a young person could develop a love for God at an early age, it could change their whole life."

Vincent reflected, "As a graduate of Princeton University, I've been impressed with the accomplishments of my fellow alumni over the past 35 years and their tremendous sphere of influence. Those that have placed their faith in the forefront have had a remarkable impact. We can envision that Christian Union will greatly increase this impact in the years to come."

Vincent and Dian have experienced the joy of giving through their financial support of Christian Union, which they believe is "vitally important" to the future of American culture and God's kingdom. Creating a pattern of generosity through their giving habits has allowed them "to put our money where our heart is and serves as an example to our children."

The Namans have opted to keep their gifts to Christian Union unrestricted, although financial partners have the option of directing gifts to the campuses where the ministry serves. Their decision allows Christian Union to strengthen aspects of the ministry where it is most needed. Their support of the overall mission has an immediate and direct impact on the life-changing ministry of Christian Union.

The ministry is profoundly grateful to the Naman family, and the many other financial partners, who make it possible to develop Christian leaders to transform culture.
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