Realizations at Geneva’s Presidential Inauguration - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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October 5, 2016

Realizations at Geneva’s Presidential Inauguration

The inauguration of a new college president is a big deal. It signals a new beginning, changes in priorities, and often a recommitment to the mission of the school. Geneva College officially inaugurated Dr. Calvin L. Troup as the institution’s 20th President the last weekend in September and as a witness to the event and all of the ceremony, I’m taking away a number of realizations.

  1. Pro Christo et Patria matters
    The Geneva College motto is a rock of a statement and has been since 1881. Keynote speaker Ken Myers of Mars Hill Audio Journal expounded on the deep, deep meaning of Pro Christo et Patria (For Christ and Country) and put it into historical and future contexts. The Gospel was never intended to live only in the hearts of Christians, separated from the understanding of the world in which we live. In fact, separating secular and sacred is a false choice – there are not two worlds but one world and Christ is King of all. As lovers of Christ and country, we are going to need courage, wisdom, and love to ensure that our fellow countrymen remain aware of the Kingship of Christ. Myers says, “[T]he Patria will not flourish – possibly not survive – without Christ.”
  2. Academic regalia looks really silly… and really awesome
    All of the colors of robes and hats and ribbons and hoods might make it look like a scene out of a Harry Potter movie, but this tradition goes back hundreds of years and ties what we do at Geneva to the current and historic world of academic scholarship. The casualness that has overtaken much of society means that we've lost some of the solemnity of ceremony. Pomp and circumstance is still important even in our post-industrial, information age, maybe even more so, as a reminder of the value of higher education and the dedicated people, past and present that make it possible.
  3. The Geneva community is wonderful
    From students and faculty to alumni and staff, the community joined together at the inauguration and it was wonderful. Seeing old friends and meeting new ones is a gift from God, a look back and a look ahead. The prayers and support that so many have shown for the college is now called to force behind our new president.
  4. Life goes on and we’ve all got good work to do
    When the inauguration weekend was over, life continued. The sun set and rose again. Students went to class. Professors prepared lessons and graded assignments. Friends parted ways to return to the lives they are living. It was bittersweet, as reunions so often are, filled with memories of days that will not come again but also with an awareness of the purpose our lives have in the service of the Lord in the days ahead. Such a great event on a great weekend and all to the glory of God.

It’s a new start at Geneva College, but in many ways it is still the same work the college has been doing for nearly 170 years – preparing students for faithful and fruitful service to God and neighbor… and that’s exciting and reassuring. Pro Christo et Patria!

- Dieter