The culmination of events during Inauguration Week was the Investiture Convocation in which L. Timothy Perrin, JD, officially became the new president of Lubbock Christian University. It was held Thursday in the Rip Griffin Center. President Perrin is a 1984 graduate of LCU and he grew up just across the street from the campus as the son of LCU professors Les and Elaine Perrin.
Dr. Don Williams, Director of Graduate Studies, presided over the ceremony. The prelude was the "Academic Procession" played by the LCU Symphonic Band. The processional included the student representatives, university delegates, faculty and staff, the deans and Vice President, the Board of Trustees, and the presidential platform party. The party included President Perrin's most recent three predecessors.
"This is a time to recommit to the values of the university. We are committed to changing lives," said Dr. Rod Blackwood, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, as he welcomed everyone to the proceedings.
The LCU Praise Choir and Symphonic Band joined to complete the welcome with songs of praise.
Rob Evans, Associate Head Basketball Coach at the University of North Texas, led the invocation. He was the first All-American in the history of Chap basketball and is a 1966 graduate of the university. Dr. Jeff Cary, Assistant Professor of Theology for the university, followed by reading Psalms 121. Dr. Philip Camp led the group in songs of worship.
Representatives from different campus groups greeted President Perrin. Alan Burow, Student Senate President, and Victoria Richards, Inter Club Council President, spoke on behalf of the students. "On behalf of the student body, welcome home," Burow said. Richards joked that “When you were a student here at Lubbock Christian, (President Perrin), Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ album was a big hit … now, I can enjoy that same mp3 file as a classic.”
Other groups that were represented included LCU staff, LCU faculty, LCU alumni, churches of Christ, the city of Lubbock, Texas colleges and universities, and the state and nation. The last was Congressman Randy Neugebauer, Representative of District 19. He thanked LCU on behalf of the nation and encouraged President Perrin to keep preparing students for greater things.
Dr. Gerald Turner, a former Chap basketball player and graduate of Lubbock Christian College when it was a two-year school, gave the inaugural address. Turner is president of Southern Methodist University but has worked at Pepperdine University, the University of Mississippi, and the University of Oklahoma. He charged those in attendance to continue empowering graduates to take the message of Christ to the world by helping make the school stronger and more vibrant.
A video was shown of the presidential charge from founding president Dr. F. W. Mattox. His vision of the school started as a dream but became a reality. A great institution needs great vision. "I urge you to keep your eye on the vision," Dr. Mattox said to those in attendance, specifically the new campus leader, via archived video.
During the Investiture by Mr. Jerry Harris, Chairman of the LCU Board of Trustees, President Perrin received the presidential medallion and chain of office. The chain has engraved names of all the past presidents and their terms of service. With this presentation, he officially became the sixth president of LCU.
In response to the standing ovation he received at that moment, President Perrin said, "There's nothing like having your (family) stand for you." He summarized the theme of the week about the value of Christian higher education and LCU's future. "I see a future that is as great as the One we serve."
In his short tenure as the university’s president thus far (he began his duties in June), Perrin has made it obvious that one of his chief objectives is to embrace the student body.
“Though they come from many different ages and backgrounds, each one is a precious child of God,” said Perrin. “The students come first. We want them to find wonder in creation. We want to guide the students … to seek to touch their mind, heart and soul.”
While the ceremony and the week that has taken place were glowing examples of the faith and learning objectives that Perrin hopes for, he is also mindful that what lies ahead will present obstacles along the way.
“There will be challenges ahead … there are challenges,” he offered, saying “and I pledge to you my best efforts to make that dream a reality, to the glory of God.”
Kevin Rhodes, Vice President of Development at World Bible School, offered the closing prayer of dedication and blessing. He was also a close childhood friend, neighbor, and classmate of President Perrin, graduating with him in 1984.
The convocation closed with singing of “The Lord Bless You and Keep You,” the “LCU Alma Mater” and a recessional. The event was followed by a reception in the foyer.
With the inauguration of a new president comes a new phase in the life of the university with new problems, but with the support of so many people, by all indications from those who spoke during this week’s many varied events, L. Timothy Perrin is prepared to face what may come.