Asbury College inaugurates 17th president, Dr. Sandra C. Gray

Dr. Sandra C. Gray, 17th president of Asbury College

WILMORE, KY—Drizzling rain couldn’t keep the hundreds of guests, students, faculty, alumni and delegates from Hughes Auditorium Friday, Oct. 5. These individuals came to witness history and support Dr. Sandra Gray as she was commissioned the 17th President of Asbury College.

In keeping with Asbury College’s commitment to students, the inaugural processional began with the student heraldry bearers and the presentation of the 14 national flags of the student body. Following the student representatives, 40 delegates from colleges, universities and organizations from around the country marched in the auditorium. The Asbury College faculty, platform guests and Dr. Gray concluded the processional.

Special music was provided by the student/faculty brass ensemble, Dr. Mark Schell, Dr. Beatrice Holz, Dr. Ronald Holz, Dr. Donald Zent and Prof. Virginia Bowles.

Dr. Ed McKinley gives greetings during Dr. Gray's inauguration

Calling Dr. Gray “a woman of incredible academic achievement, a renowned educator, and a successful businesswoman,” Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) challenged Asbury’s new president. The minority leader challenged Dr. Gray to “to recognize Asbury’s unique mission and to nurture it, breathe life into it, and make it flourish and grow.” He described Asbury’s mission as one to “engage the culture and advance the cause of Christ, in all professions, both here at home and around the world.”

He continued, “Asbury College is uniquely positioned to prepare a generation with the vision to find the answers we seek, all while protecting what must remain non-negotiable in a changing world. You rightly believe that the pursuit of truth is a worthy goal.”

Dr. Paul Rader prays during the commissioning service.

McConnell reminded Dr. Gray and the audience that the present was an “exciting” time for the institution. “Your enrollment has never been higher. The demand for an Asbury education has never been greater. This is Asbury’s moment, and you are poised to seize the opportunities ahead.”

Dr. Gray shakes hands with former presidents Paul Rader, John Oswalt, David Gyertson and Bill Crothers

In her remarks, Dr. Gray said that she was thankful that Asbury College was raised from a “deep commitment, purpose and compassion for men and women to be educated in mind, body and spirit.”

As the leader of Asbury College, Dr. Gray has a positive outlook on the future and the role Asburians will play. She said, “I refuse to believe that there is more wrong in this world than right, and I refuse to believe that there are no answers to the needs of this world. I confidently believe that this generation of young people will be agents of change.”

Lexington Herald-Leader reporter, Greg Kocher covered the event. Asbury inaugurates president

Previous articles on Dr. Gray, Oct.5
New president's charge is to educate state about Asbury

To view a gallery of photos, visit Podcasts and a DVD of the inaugural events will be available at the end of the week.

Photos by Andy Olsen ’04

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