After a festive and historic weekend of dinners, visitors, parents, and the conferment of the presidential medallion, Dr. Belcher was inaugurated as Providence’s third president on Saturday afternoon.
Though he had been holding his new position since July 1, 2014, Dr. Belcher was inaugurated on Saturday, October 18 at 1 pm in the chapel at Lake Avenue Church. John Jansen, chairman of Providence’s board, presented Dr. Belcher with the presidential medallion, a gesture symbolizing the board’s “investment” of the presidential duties and honors. After the presentation of the medallion, Belcher delivered his inaugural address, the title of which was “The New American College.” He stressed not only the fundamental importance of a Christian liberal arts education, but also its connection to a lifetime and work and service to the glory of God. An audio version of the address will be available at providencecc.edu soon.Belcher Inauguration
As is customary with college presidential inaugurations, delegates from peer institutions participated in the processional with Providence faculty. Especially meaningful for Belcher was the charge given to him by Dr. John Bernbaum (Russian American Institute), whom he studied under while a student in the American Studies Program and who remains one of Belcher’s mentors today. Michael Lindsay, president of Belcher’s alma mater Gordon College also participated in the ceremony. Delegates from the King’s University College, Biola University, Fuller Seminary, Calvin College, Life Pacific College, the National Insititute for Christian Education, Mid-America Reformed Seminary, the Institute for Christian Studies, and Covenant Theological Seminary also were in the processional, extending their official congratulations and support from their respective institutions.
Other participants in the ceremony included local PCA minister Brannin Pitre, president of the Providence board Pete Nanninga, and Providence’s vice president of finance and operations Dawn Dirksen. A wonderful cross-section of people attended the inaugural ceremony including Providence alumni and parents, as well as supporters of the college, students, staff, and faculty, a true testament to God’s provision and care for Providence over its 10 year history. Former and founding president Jim Den Ouden (2005-2009) read from Proverbs and Romans. Both Den Ouden and former president Derek Halvorson (2009-2012) participated in the ceremony.
The inauguration ceremony and weekend was the culmination of a two year search to find a president uniquely equipped to lead Providence. Belcher’s appointment was officially announced in March 2014.
Following the ceremony, Providence hosted a dinner at Atchison Place, the presidential family’s residence, creating further opportunity for conversation and fun. Several hundred people turned out for Chinese from the Panda Inn, the original Pasadena creators and founders of Panda Express, in the president’s backyard, capping off a historic day of celebration.