OTTERBURNE, MB – For those of us who gathered in-person and online to celebrate Providence’s Presidential Inauguration on March 12th, it was a beautiful ceremony that evoked an emotional and hopeful response especially after these challenging pandemic years.
So, we are sharing with you some of the moments and photos that mark such an important and memorable day as Dr. Kenton C. Anderson was officially inducted as our 15th President.
Provost, Dr. Nicholas Greco, moderated the ceremony and Dr. Tim Perry, Seminary Dean, opened with a prayer.
Both the Honourable Jon Reyes, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Immigration, and Dennis Smook, MLA for La Vérendrye, were present. On behalf of the government of Manitoba, they wished Dr. Anderson many successes at Providence.
Leshia Verkerk, Vice President of Student Life, shared a few words and said, “As we are nearing the end of Dr. Anderson’s first academic year at Providence, I can say with confidence that we are thrilled you have come to join our community. You have already brought new initiatives and you have honoured who we are and the long history of this institution. We appreciate your energy and enthusiasm and your insight into what we need to be successful in our goals.”
Dr. Leland Eliason, the special guest and speaker, drove from Minnesota to join in our Inauguration celebration. He is a well-loved mentor to Dr. Anderson and his ministry career has spanned more than six decades with 15 of those years in leadership roles at Bethel Seminary.
He commended Dr. Anderson as an individual who excels as ‘a creative, out-of-the-box thinker’ and then continued to say, “Kent is a competent administrator, a persevering leader, and a lover of Christ’s Church, and I pray that he will receive grace upon grace to sustain him. Courage and perseverance to complete God’s direction. Flexibility with humility to change course as needed. And great joy as he serves the King of kings. Amen.”
Joan Franz, Chair of Providence’s Board of Governors, gave the ‘Charge to the President.’
Past President David Johnson passed on the President’s Medallion.
Here are a few things President Anderson shared in his speech.
“I am very grateful for the privilege of leading this great institution. I recognize that I am joining a legacy. It’s a history of God’s providential provision and the faithfulness of many who have carried the mission to develop difference makers.”
He thanked David Johnson and expressed gratitude for:
- the support and trust of the Board
- the Cabinet who competently and courageously share the tasks with him
- the faculty who show great distinguishment in their work
- the staff who’ve dedicated themselves to support this mission, and
- every mentor, donor, prayer partner and supporter.
“I am proud of what’s been built here at Providence. I am grateful for the competence and effectiveness of the Seminary in the development of leaders for the Church and the mission of God in the world. I am also proud of the University College and the ways they develop people in their giftings and callings. I am pleased about some of our newer initiatives such as the growing Science program and the Buller School of Business. I am proud of our Athletics program whose teams carry our brand across the province and beyond.”
“I imagine a new story for Prov that leads us beyond this geographic region to a wider, more powerful and more viable future. I imagine new possibilities as we partner with others to serve international students in downtown Winnipeg, to develop programs in nursing, agri-business, and environment science, etc.”
“Let’s not be afraid to dream, to plan and to pursue those things that will be good for people, good for the province of Manitoba, good for the broader nation, and good for the world.”
University College Dean, Catherine Rust-Akinbolaji, closed the ceremony with a benediction.
If interested, you can access the video recording of Dr. Anderson’s speech here.