After serving more than three decades with Taylor’s admissions office, Steve Mortland, vice president of enrollment and strategic institutional engagement, announced that he will be leaving Taylor to work with the anti-trafficking nonprofit organization Love Justice International.
“I felt like I had about 10 years left to do in my professional career and this could be a good second act and something that I certainly believe in doing,” Mortland said. “There's something good about staying somewhere for a long time, but there's also something good about taking the risk of leaving something that you know, and love and are comfortable with and moving out and seeing what else God can teach.”
Mortland notified President Paige Cunningham in September of his intention to leave Taylor.
However, he plans to stay through the end of the semester and into 2020 until the transition process is complete.
“I’ve known Steve Mortland for 17 years in my role as a trustee,” President Cunningham wrote in a statement to the Echo. “His contributions to Taylor cannot be adequately measured. We will miss him for so many reasons, but I am pleased that he will be at Taylor for several months yet. He is graciously allowing us to have a smooth transition to new leadership. And, on a personal note, Steve is the only man I know who consistently wears his glasses like a headband and makes it look cool.”
Following the transition, Mortland will start working full time on fundraising projects for Love Justice, where he has served on the board since 2017. He will be overseeing strategies for growing the organization’s revenue through recurring donation programs, major gifts and grant applications.
Founded by Taylor grad John Molineux in 2004, Love Justice International carries out anti-trafficking initiatives in over 10 countries, including India, Nepal and Ghana, in addition to operating family homes for orphaned children, shelters for trafficking victims and the Dream School in Nepal.
In his time at Taylor, Mortland has been part of several large projects, including creating the theology around the Taylor towel, he said.
“There's something deep about this idea of the towel that you see people in their brokenness and you enter into that broken experience with them,” he said. “We recognized in talking with people that that can be a really powerful thing, not just when you leave, but when you come in.”
As Mortland prepares to leave Taylor, he is following God’s call, even if the call has not come in a traditional way, he said. It was through his time at Taylor that he met Molineux and got involved in Love Justice in the first place.
“I feel really honored to have spent the last 30-plus years at Taylor,” he said. “I've raised my family here. I've been changed by my time at Taylor in really dramatic ways. I'm a very different person today than I was when I started and I owe a lot of that to this community.”