Joyful inauguration ceremony marks a new era for Trinity Western University.

The stage of Chandos Pattison Auditorium, draped in green and black velvet and adorned with fifty white potted mums and other festive floral arrangements, was the perfect setting for the elaborate ceremony that included a regal procession with over one hundred faculty in traditional academic colors, triumphant music and vibrant speakers highlighting the university's four decades of academic vitality.

Many provincial politicians extended their greetings and welcomed the new president including The Honourable Mary Polak, MLA, The Honourable Kurt Alberts, Mayor of the Langley Township, and The Honourable Peter Fassbender, Mayor of Langley City.

Cloaked in blue, his academic colours from the University of Kentucky, the gentle but commanding president knelt with his wife before the audience and accepted his presidential medallion signifying his official inauguration. When applause thundered, the new president responded graciously by pointing heavenward.

Dr. Paul Rader, Past President of Asbury College, Past International Leader of The Salvation Army, and long time friend of Dr. Raymond, gave the Inaugural Challenge address. President Raymond then took to the podium for his Inauguration Response. He expressed his gratitude toward those who had grounded the University's forty-four year history in Jesus Christ, whom he described as “the still point of the universe,” before quoting John Wesley's “the best is yet to come.”

President Raymond invited former presidents Dr. Calvin B. Hanson and Dr. R. Neil Snider to the podium to announce their new titles of President Emeritus, in honour of outstanding commitment and service to the University. In closing, the Trinity Western University choir, accompanied again by the Salvation Army band, performed with gusto a hymn chosen by President Raymond, entitled “I'll Go in the Strength of the Lord” written by Edward Turney (1816-1872). The first verse reads:

<div><img src="/governance/president/events/inauguration/ceremony/stage.jpg" hspace="5" vspace="5" align="right" />I'll go in the strength of the Lord
In paths he has marked for my feet;
I'll follow the light of his word,
Nor shrink from the dangers I meet.
His presence my steps shall attend,
His fullness my wants shall supply;
On him, till my journey shall end,
My unwavering faith shall rely.</div>

The elaborate and joyful ceremony marks a new era for the University and the end of a busy and celebratory inauguration week. Says President Raymond, “The week was a wonderful time of celebration looking forward to a very promising future.”

Last Updated: 2007-10-11
Author: Erin Mussolum