The Rev. James M. Singleton, Ph.D.
Senior Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Colorado Springs
We are indeed standing on Holy Ground on a day like today when we are inaugurate a new president, when we understand the transition of a community. It is upon that Holy ground that we dare to tread because it was the real belief of a search committee and the board of trustees that through a long a careful search god was leading us directly to Beck Taylor to become our next president. We knew that looking for a president at this season of the life of this institution would not be an easy task. We had to find someone who would embrace the mission of this institution; an education of the mind and heart, the deep commitment to Christ, the fierce openness to truth and we needed someone who would be a visionary leader for these next years to both ignite and instill a vision in us working collaboratively to understand what God was about to do, through a very prayerful process looking at a number of wonderful people both the search committee and the board believe that indeed it was God's call upon you Beck, to come and lead us in this next venture. God has answered our prayers, he has appointed one for just such a time as this and thus Beck we invite you into this moment of privilege and a moment of great responsibility. It is holy ground and you will have our prayers and you will have our love and we look forward to walking together on this wonderful journey of this next venture of this wonderful institution.
Thayne M. McCulloh, D.Phil.
President, Gonzaga University
Members of the Whitworth community and indeed the greater Spokane community, it is such an honor and privilege to have been asked to send and to bring greetings on behalf of my colleagues in Spokane's higher education community to welcome you, Dr. Taylor, to that community and to your work as president of a true jewel in the crown of Northwest higher education, Whitworth University.
Thayne McCullohWe who have the privilege of serving this community are so grateful in particular for the faculty, the staff, and you students for the tremendous positive impact that all of you have and are and for the relationships that we have built and now will continue to build under your leadership, one with one another.
Dr. Taylor: under your leadership and together with your colleagues and community, may Whitworth continue to be a beacon of light and of hope a source of inspired knowledge and faith filled intellect for all of us as we join together with you, indeed to build a community of courage. And may you know that you have in us all, at all times a willing and supportive community.
President Taylor, Whitworth community, congratulations!
The Honorable Mary Verner
Mayor, City of Spokane
As Mayor of the City of Spokane, it is my honor to welcome Whitworth's new President, Beck Taylor, to Spokane.
Mary VernerWe are blessed in Spokane to have a wealth of higher education institutions that:
Entice our young people to stay in Spokane to receive an education.
Extend their outreach to the broader community to allow for lifelong learning opportunities.
Work together collaboratively to help our community move ahead.
Whitworth University is a positive force in our community, and I am delighted you have selected President Taylor to lead this institution and continue this connection with the greater region.
Beck, I look forward to working with you and Whitworth into the future.
And on behalf of the citizens of Spokane and the greater Spokane region, please accept our best wishes for a long and fruitful tenure at Whitworth.
The Rev. Eric Peterson, '85
Pastor, Colbert Presbyterian Church
It seems a bit presumptuous for a self-identified village pastor like me to bring greetings on behalf of the one holy, catholic and apostolic Church of Jesus Christ, but I am honored by the invitation to add a voice to the long and necessary relationship which exists as we celebrate our mutual work of integrating heart-mind discipleship through the enduring collaboration of church and academy.
Eric PetersonAs a member of the presidential search committee, I met and was impressed by a number of people who have the unique gifts to be a university president. But I was, and I am now all the more convinced that you, Beck Taylor, are the right person for this institution for this season of its life. I am very glad that you are here.
Having gotten to know you and your character a bit I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. But I want to offer a reminder to you, nonetheless, because I think we all need to be reminded of some important things on these kinds of occasions when individuals ascend to positions of influence.
I wish to remind you on this inaugural day that the purest and most virtuous form of leadership, in any arena – whether in the church or the academy, in government or business – is a reflection of the servant leadership of Jesus who came not to be served, but to serve.
My pastoral encouragement to you on this day is to resist and defy whatever forces, whether internal or external, which may tempt you to exchange the humble way of servant leadership for the acquisition of power. My own sense is that staying closely connected to the student body will keep you established in that orientation toward a servant-leader presidency.
I know this is how you are wired. It's one of the reasons we unanimously recommended you to the board of trustees. It is the primary reason you are here. And it will be the cornerstone of a presidency that is God-honoring, Christ-following and humanity-serving.
As audacious as it sounds to my own ears, I dare say that the Church of Jesus Christ is glad that you have joined the many existing servant-leaders of Whitworth University for such a time as this. May the blessings of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit be yours. Amen.
Richard Strauch, D.M.A.
Professor of Music and President of the Faculty
On behalf of the faculty at Whitworth University, I welcome you to this community of teachers and scholars.
Richard StrauchWhitworth is a very unique place. As we live in a time when it often seems that religious, political, and intellectual intolerance are valued more highly than thoughtful discourse, openness, and collaboration, we have an opportunity not only to be different, but to make a difference. We have an opportunity to model informed, respectful discussion on some of our world's most difficult issues, for our students and for the larger community. We have an opportunity demonstrate what it means to be rigorously committed to understanding God's truth in all of our disciplines, and to showing how that truth can bring redemption, healing, and grace to a fallen and suffering world, to say, in some small way, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like this.”
The faculty's commitment to carry out Whitworth's mission, and to make a difference, has never been stronger. But in the years ahead, we look to you to help us meet the challenges that are before us. We look to you for support, encouragement, and a clear vision in our efforts to be faithful to our calling to teach these wonderful students and to grow in our understanding of our disciplines. As Christians of many traditions, we look to you to help us model with integrity what it means to integrate faith and learning for our students, each other, and the world. And as individuals created in God's image, we look to you to help us maintain balance in our lives, to be good stewards of our work time, our time with our families, and our spiritual lives. We need to be reminded from time to time that it is okay to shut the door at the end of the day and go home, and so we remind you, too, that it is okay for you to at least crack the door shut and go home to Julie, Zach, Lauren, and Chloe. You will leave a great legacy to Whitworth, but the legacy you leave them will be greater still.
And so as you join us in our work here, we invite you to partner with us in our teaching, learning, and service. Welcome to Whitworth, and God bless you.
Director of Human Resource Services
Dr. Taylor, on behalf of the staff of Whitworth University, I extend a very warm welcome to you, your family, and our honored guests.
Dolores HumistonIt is a sincere privilege to represent Whitworth's staff on the platform today. I am grateful to work alongside the women and men who play varied and important roles here at the university.
As staff, we serve in the residence halls and the counseling center, in international student affairs, the career center, and the chapel. We spend our time in nearly every department across campus, assisting and coordinating daily operations. We work side-by-side with faculty by supporting the academic program through advising, playing the piano, providing technical library support, working in science labs, offering service learning opportunities, and through coaching.
Many of us have important and meaningful relationships with students as we supervise and teach them in the workplace.
We are proud of our campus environment as we keep our facilities clean and well maintained, the grounds green and beautiful, and see that new buildings progress on schedule. We raise funds, organize special events, and keep our larger community informed about the activities of the university. We admit and register students, and help them with their financial aid and student accounts. We sell textbooks, and we make our campus safe and secure.
We order supplies, pay the bills, run the post office and the print shop. We maintain our website and provide needed infrastructure for all of our classroom and system technology. We support each other too by keeping the vehicle pool running, by filling vacant positions, and by providing training, employee benefits, and regular paychecks.
Regardless of our daily roles, we believe each of us is responsible for student recruitment and retention. And we believe it is our special role to model the life of Christ in the ways we carry out our diverse duties. Our students learn what it means to be dedicated to something that is worthy and larger than any one of us, for we, as the staff of Whitworth University, believe in a unified voice in the mission of this institution. We are so glad you're here!
Josh Boyden, '11
President, Associated Students of Whitworth University, 2010-11
My name is Josh Boyden, and I am the Student Body President for Whitworth University. I'm here to greet Beck on behalf of the students, and in true student fashion I'm going to keep this as short as possible. Josh BoydenI would like to take this time to express how excited we are to have Beck's leadership for the university. Already, Beck has done a great job connecting with students. He's become a visible and calming presence on campus. We all approve of the leadership and character that he brings to this institution. As we move into this new era of leadership, the students would like to encourage Beck to continue the work started by 17 presidents before him. We love this school for what it is, but still see the potential for improvement. Beck, continue to work to make this university one of the best and remember that we're the one's writing your pay checks. So, Beck, we the students would like to formally welcome you into the Whitworth family. Thanks so much for your service.
Anne McCulloch Storm, '74
Forty years ago this fall, I came to Whitworth a very young, naïve, homesick freshman. Well, it didn't take long for Whitworth to soon become home for the next four years. My friends and I quickly recognized the exceptional education of mind and heart, of which we were blessed.
Ann McCulloch StormAs was the case of our friends in other schools, we were NOT sitting in huge lecture halls never knowing our professors. No, we were constantly in conversations, in and out of the classroom, with the Harry Dixons, the Leonard Oaklands, the Phil Eatons, and the Fenton Duvalls. It doesn't get any better than that!
It was through these relationships and the love of Christ being poured on us, that we found a safe place to question and grow, to make mistakes and learn.
There was a love for learning here that was contagious, and we became infected.
As our minds and hearts were being nurtured, we were pretty sure this was a unique time in Whitworth's history. We thought we were pretty special. Well, we were not unique.
There have been 36 just as special classes since ours. The investment that is made into the students among the pines is priceless.
It is as strong today as it was 40 years ago. My husband and I have seen it played out again in the last 4 years, as our son has been a student. And we have been so blessed to have had dozens of Pirates in our home.
The story remains the same. They each have had a professor or a president that changed their life. The stories are the same, but the titles have evolved over the years. In our day they were called, Dr. Eaton, Dr. Oakland, Dr. Duvall. Today we have TMACK, BROB, and even JERBEAR. I'm curious what you; Dr. Taylor will soon be called.
So how does one little institution sustain its mission, year after year, generation to generation? It's bigger than Whitworth! It's easy to see that God has his hand on this place, providing such exceptional faculty, staff, and administration.
And once again, we see God's faithfulness in the perfect person of Beck Taylor to lead this mission going forward.