On Oct. 8, Michael Lindsay was inaugurated as president of Taylor University.
Lindsay is the current president following former interim president Paige Cunningham and former president Lowell Haines, both of whom were in attendance for the inauguration.
The service was held during the regular Friday chapel hour, with classes the hour before and after canceled to encourage student attendance. Additionally, faculty and administration attended in their academic regalia. Staff, alumni and families were invited to welcome the new first family.
In his inaugural address, Lindsay spoke about “Lux et Fides,” the Latin phrase on the Taylor seal meaning “light and faith.”
Lindsay’s youngest daughters, Caroline and Emily, introduced this theme by reading Psalm 37:3-6 and Matthew 5:14-16.
Because mentions of light are present throughout the Bible, Lindsay highlighted how important light must be to a biblical understanding of the world. In this vein, he referenced C. S. Lewis, who said that through light, everything else is seen.
“When you stop to realize how fundamental light is to the human existence, it is perhaps not surprising that on the first day God decided, ‘Let there be light.’” Lindsay said. “And from that, so many other things have become possible. … At Taylor, we are inspired by light and united in faith.”
Lindsay pointed to university figureheads like Samuel Morris, also known as Prince Kaboo, and Harold Ockenga, for their selfless leadership. Observing the present day, Lindsay commended Associate Professor of English Dan Bowman, Professor of Kinesiology Erik Hayes and former First Lady Marylou Habecker for their impact on the Taylor community and beyond.
Through the symbol of the Taylor seal, light and faith unite to engage with one another and the world in need, in both scholarly pursuits and acts of service.
“When the light is gathered, God has a way of increasing our collective faith,” Lindsay said. “For 175 years, Taylor University has been an institution committed to ‘Lux et Fides,’ light and faith. I come to Taylor so honored and excited to join you in the important work you have been doing for a long time.”
With his inauguration, Lindsay was presented with three ceremonial items to show his new leadership over the university: the mace, Bible and medallion. These items have been passed on from each president, and both the mace and Bible originally belonged with the university namesake, Bishop William Taylor.
As each item was presented, students, faculty and staff stood and prayed over each symbol of faith and leadership.
The litany of investiture and dedication was introduced by Presiding Chair of the Board of Trustees Chris Goeglein (‘84) and led by Student Body President senior Sarah Mangan, Faculty Moderator and Professor of Kinesiology Matthew Renfrow and Vice President for Strategy and Chief of Staff Will Hagen. The presentation of the mace was conducted by Board of Trustees Treasurer Eric Turner (‘74), Mangan led the prayer for students and Renfrow led the prayer for faculty. The presentation of the Bible was conducted by Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees Manuel Rosado (‘96) and Hagen led the prayer for staff. Lastly, the presentation of the medallion and the presidential vows were conducted by Goeglein and Rosado with Lindsay.
In addition to Lindsay’s address, greetings and words of wisdom were passed along by Christian higher education leaders including President of the Christian College Consortium James Barnes III, President of the Association of Christian Schools International Larry Taylor, President of Independent Colleges of Indiana David Wantz, District 13 State Representative Ann Vermillion, Vice President of Mississippi College William Townsend, President of Wesleyan University David Wright and President of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities Shirley Hoogstra.
“As your colleague in the sacred work, as a highly interested neighbor whose respect for Taylor is immense and as your friend, I charge you to carry forward this good news ministry in the fear of God,” Wright said. “… And I pledge to you today the enduring respect, generous assistance, prayerful support and genuine friendship of your neighbors at Indiana Wesleyan University. God bless you, and God bless Taylor University.”
Vermillion, who attended on behalf of Gov. Eric Holcomb, presented an official proclamation from the governor, marking the date’s significance for all in Indiana.
“So, now, therefore, I, Eric J. Holcomb, the governor of the state of Indiana here do by proclaim the day, October 8, 2021, as the 175th anniversary of Taylor University,” Vermillion read from the plaque. “And in the state of Indiana, and all citizens, should duly note this occasion.”
Additional music and leading in worship was provided by the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra, Taylor University Chorale, Assistant Professors of Music Loralee Songer and Reed Spencer, Associate Professor of Music Conor Angell and bagpiper Hope Oaks.
Prayer was led by Board of Trustees Secretary Heather Larson (‘96), University Ambassador and First Lady Rebecca Lindsay and Executive Vice President of Genesis Partners Mark Dillon.
The full recording of the inauguration service — excluding any musical aspects, the processional and the recessional — is available on Taylor University’s YouTube channel.