In an emotional and inspirational ceremony within Bush Chapel on Friday, November 18, Dr. Kent Ingle was officially inducted as the 15th president of Southeastern University.
The first words of his inaugural address embodied the new energy and perspective he and his team have brought to campus.
"I never thought I¹d wear bling like this," Ingle said, referring to the large, gold presidential chain hanging from his neck.
"This is not about me," Ingle continued. "This is a moment for all of us to give God glory for who He is and His provision for Southeastern University."
With members of Ingle¹s family, the Southeastern Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, the student body and distinguished guests in attendance, Ingle cast a vision for the university during his address. As well as giving thanks to those who helped him during his spiritual and professional journeys, he introduced seven priorities that he sees as central to Southeastern¹s mission.
Before laying out his vision for the university, Ingle encouraged the SEU community to hold firm to its core beliefs while also being sensitive to the culture around it.
"We must look inward with conviction and outward with courage," he said.
In addition to giving encouragement, Ingle also received encouragement and support from some of his mentors, including Dr. George O. Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God; Dr. Bob Cook, president of The Alliance for Assemblies of God Higher Education; and Dr. Don Argue, chancellor of Northwest University.
Cook reflected on meeting Ingle¹s family when they moved to Denver in the 1970s, including watching Hank Aaron break baseball¹s home run record with Ingle and his father, Joe, at the Ingles¹ home in April 1974. Cook also remembered being at the hospital when Joe Ingle passed away nine years later, and also being a source of support for the Ingle family when Ingle¹s sister was killed in a car accident.
"I salute you for standing strong in sorrow and in heartache," Cook said to Ingle.
Wood opened his remarks with a light warning. "This is my wife¹s alma mater," he said with a smile, "so take good care of it."
He then gave four principles of leadership taken from 1 Kings in which David gave final instructions to Solomon. The principles were to retain, eliminate, evaluate, and add, emphasizing that great organizations are always ready to eliminate those things that don¹t further their mission.
In closing, Ingle challenged those in attendance to work together "shoulder-to-shoulder" in moving Southeastern forward.
"God bless all of you, and God bless Southeastern University," he said.