Do you know Hayden Heard? You should.
Welcome to The Daily Runner’s first-ever Senior Spotlight series. The inspiration behind this series has been to shine a spotlight on a few seniors at Regent. Graduating college is a significant milestone in life and The Daily Runner wants to honor a few of the members of the Class of 2017. We have selected eight different seniors – four young women and four young men – for you to get to know before they graduate in May. The next soon-to-be graduate we would like to honor is: Hayden Heard.
I sat down with Heard at Café Moka in the Student Center to talk with him and better understand who he is – what inspires him and what makes him passionate. Born and raised not far from campus in Chesapeake, VA, Hayden Heard chose to attend Regent University and pursue a degree in Business Marketing. During our time together, I got a small glimpse of Heard’s heart.
Cultivating genuine community is a very evident passion of his. However, he expressed the difficulty of immersing himself in the community since he chose to commute from home freshmen through junior year. “I’m realizing [living on campus] emerged me in the community a little better. I didn’t get that while I was commuting nearly as much.” Heard credits the community as his most cherished aspect of his time at Regent. “My favorite memory at Regent has to be the little moments of getting to know the community better – the genuine community. You don’t find that elsewhere in such a high quantity. People like Brad Meadows, Michael Wilcher… all those gems of Regent. [Community] is something I appreciate and remember a lot of looking over the last 3 or 4 years.”
Creative and dedicated
It didn’t take long for Heard to become a significant part of campus life – from his athleticism in intermural sports to his musical prowess on the Regent Worship Team. When he isn’t involving himself in the on-campus community, Heard can be found pursing his dream, working for a company called COLLECTORnorfolk, which – according to their website – is a “creative home for artists, businesses and organizations to tell their stories through audio, photography and events.” After graduation, Heard plans to continue working for them as their Composer/Audio Engineer.
When asked about his experiences thus far with Collector, he explained “I have been to Cuba with Collector and produced a song with some [Cuban] musicians and got some footage for CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network) and Orphan’s Promise. I have also done several scores for different projects.” Heard has also been given the opportunity to travel to India and write music for two weeks (he is currently in India with the Collector staff). As I spoke with Heard, his passions for music and genuine community were clearly evident. Through Collector, these passions are being cultivated. I asked what the ultimate dream for him is. He replied, “I’m honestly living the ultimate dream now.”
During our conversation, I asked in what ways has Regent prepared Heard to be a Christian leader to change the world. He explained how the example of leadership shown by staff members has prepared him more than classes. Heard highlights Campus Ministries Director, Jason Peaks, and Worship Team Coordinator, Joy W., as two very admirable leaders in his life: “How they represent themselves with students and how they genuinely care about so many people…seeing [their] example of leadership has inspired me and kept me moving forward.” I have no doubt Heard will soon be an admired leader himself.
It was very evident from my short time with Heard that the Lord has gifted him with incredible talents to which he uses to glorify the Lord. I am excited to see where the Lord take Heard and the many lives he will touch as a result of his passions for music and cultivation of genuine community. These passions will take him to places beyond his wildest dreams. In fact, they will take him far beyond his former redneck days on the farm – an unknown fact to most people at Regent. The Lord has since “delivered” Heard from his former redneck self, so it’s only looking up from here…however, I have heard: once a redneck, always a redneck?
Madeline Ferrante is a staff writer for The Daily Runner.