Dr. J. Derek Halvorson was inaugurated as Covenant College’s sixth president on Friday. Dr. Halvorson, who graduated from Covenant in 1993, is the College’s first alumnus president.
President Halvorson holds an M.A. from the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. from Loyola University Chicago, both in history. An ordained ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, he most recently served as president of Providence Christian College in Pasadena, Ca. In addition, he brings experience in fundraising and constituent relations from his previous roles at Covenant, and experience in the financial markets and in teaching at the university level.
Following the processional, Mr. Martin Moore, chairman of Covenant’s board of trustees, began the inauguration ceremony by welcoming all in attendance, and Vice President Jeffrey Hall delivered the invocation. Mr. Moore led a congregational prayer for the president, written by Professor William Tate.
Charges to the president were given by Dr. Hans Halvorson ’95, brother of the president; Miss Susanna Griffith ’13, president of student senate; Dr. Cliff Foreman, professor of English and faculty moderator; and Dr. Michael Ross, moderator of the 40th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America.
After a Scripture reading by Dr. Maren A. Halvorson, the president’s mother, Mr. Moore led the ceremony of inauguration. Witnesses included Dr. Robert S. Rayburn ’72, son of founding college president Dr. Robert G. Rayburn; Mr. Philip Barnes ’77, son of second president Dr. Marion Barnes; third president Dr. Martin Essenburg; fourth president Dr. Frank Brock; and Dr. Niel Nielson, Covenant’s fifth president. Dr. Robert S. Rayburn offered a prayer of dedication.
President Halvorson’s inaugural address was titled “A Path with Purpose.” The ceremony concluded with a benediction from the Rev. Joseph Novenson, senior pastor of Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church, and congregational singing of the College hymn, “All for Jesus.”
Music was provided by Covenant’s Pipe & Drum Corps, organist Dr. Jeanell Brown, and members of the Covenant Chamber Orchestra.
Delegates from over 30 institutions were in attendance.
In honor of President Halvorson’s inauguration, faculty lectures are being given on the afternoon of the ceremony by Professors Jay Green, Timothy Morris, Rebecca Pennington, and William Tate.
Located in Lookout Mountain, Ga., Covenant College exists to explore and express the preeminence of Jesus Christ in all things. Media from the inauguration ceremony will be made available at www.covenant.edu/inauguration.