In a service marked by stately hymns, liturgical dance, and words of calling and encouragement, Dr. Michael Le Roy was inaugurated as the 10th president of Calvin College.
Le Roy spoke about Jesus’ parable regarding those who build their house on the rock. “What do those words have to do with a Calvin College inauguration?” he asked.
He described Calvin College as a house of learning, built on the rock of God’s Word and under construction and renovation since 1876. “It is a house full of truth and grace, with open doors, critically engaged with every idea, hospitable to everyone.”
Le Roy also spoke of storm clouds on the horizon, of economic realities forcing significant changes, of a culture that is not helping the next generation be rooted or wise, of neuroscience discoveries challenging long-standing best practices in teaching.
“Storms will come; waters will rise. That is not just a forecast but a certainty,” he said. “I believe in the transforming power of Christ-centered education and scholarship. When I look into the faces of our students, I can’t help but have hope.
“And I believe in our mission. I hope that future generations of historians will say: Yes, rain fell and floods came, but the house did not fall because it was founded and built on the rock.”
The ceremony included words of encouragement from people representing a variety of communities, including Bill Robinson, past president of Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash. Le Roy comes to Calvin from Whitworth, where he was provost and executive vice president of academic affairs.
Two of Calvin’s past presidents, Gaylen Byker and Anthony Diekema, also were present for Le Roy’s installation.
Calvin College, the official college of the Christian Reformed Church, is located in Grand Rapids, Mich.