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September 17, 2010

Wheaton College to Hold Inaugural Ceremony for Eighth President in 150-Year History

Dr. Philip Graham Ryken

Wheaton College will celebrate the inauguration of Dr. Philip Graham Ryken as president on Friday, September 17. 

Ryken, a 1988 graduate of Wheaton College, is the eighth president in the College’s 150-year history. The Inaugural Ceremony will take place at Edman Memorial Chapel at 3 p.m. The ceremony is the third such convocation to take place in Edman Memorial Chapel. The late Dr. J. Richard Chase was inaugurated there in 1982, and Dr. Duane Litfin’s inauguration took place there in 1993.

“I am deeply humbled by the weight of this responsibility, while at the same time full of faith in what God can do,” Ryken says. “By the grace of God, Wheaton College is a world leader in Christian higher education, with a spiritual and social influence that spans the globe. I want Wheaton to have the kind of faithfulness, freedom, and excellence that come from having full confidence in the truth of the gospel.”

Delegates of educational institutions and learned societies will join trustees, administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni, state and local leaders, and representatives of 115 colleges and universities from around the country.

Following an invocation by Dr. Joseph Stowell, president of Cornerstone University and a trustee of Wheaton College, a group of Wheaton students will read from Scripture. Greetings will be extended by trustees, students, faculty, staff, and alumni, including a written greeting from Rev. Billy Graham, a 1943 graduate of the College. Poet Dr. Robert Siegel, a member of the class of 1961, will present a poem composed for the occasion.

The installation itself will be conducted by Dr. David Gieser, chairman of the Board of Trustees, followed by a prayer of commitment offered by trustee Shundrawn Thomas.

Dr. Duane Litfin, now president emeritus, will deliver the charge to the president, and Rev. Stephen Kellough, chaplain, will lead the closing prayer.

“There is no doubt in our minds that Dr. Ryken will hold the preeminence of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom above all else as he becomes an influential part of the life, spirit and future of Wheaton College,” says Donald Meyer, a trustee and co-chairman of the Presidential Selection Committee. “He lives and breathes his commitment to the College mission statement: to help build the church and improve society worldwide by promoting the development of whole and effective Christians through excellence in programs of Christian higher education, and to do all things For Christ and His Kingdom.”

The Office of Media Relations will facilitate a period of media availability on September 17 before the Inaugural Ceremony, and will grant media access to the event. To request media credentials, please contact LaTonya Taylor at 630.752.5714.

WETN, the radio and television station of Wheaton College, will broadcast the Inauguration Ceremony live on the radio at 88.1 FM, on local cable, and online at wetn.org.

A downloadable image of Dr. Ryken is available on the Inauguration website.