A significant chapter in the history of Adventism

Dr Cox (left) with SPD heritage director David Jones.

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Former Avondale College principal Dr John Cox visited the Adventist Heritage Centre on July 5 to present the centre with a copy of his book An Unfolding Dynasty—Our Family Heritage.

He began writing the book to record his family history for the sake of the family. However, the contributions of Dr Cox and his family are important to the wider history of the Adventist Church, and so the Heritage Centre team were delighted to receive and preserve this record. The book documents Dr Cox’s career in the Church and the contributions to the Church of other family members, some dating back to the early years of Adventism in Australia.

Dr Cox became the president of Avondale College (now University) in 2004 after both studying and lecturing there. He made meaningful changes in this position until his retirement in 2008.   

During his presidency, Avondale secured for its students to receive FEE-HELP and additional Commonwealth-supported places, resulting in 40 per cent enrolment growth between 2004 and 2008. A major milestone in Avondale’s quest for university status was the accreditation of the college to offer Doctor of Philosophy degrees.  

Many of Dr Cox’s students have gone on to have important careers in service of the Church. Several of his students have enjoyed successful careers as published writers and academics.  

As stated in his book, his favourite teaching areas at Avondale were Shakespeare, Renaissance literature, the age of Romanticism and dramatic literature of various periods.   

South Pacific Division heritage director David Jones remembers being taught by him when he attended Avondale.   

Dr Cox’s vision for Avondale has always been centred on spiritual growth and the value of service to others. His work has ensured that Avondale’s ministry will have a wider outreach and his legacy shaped Avondale and its continued role in the unfolding history of the Church.   

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