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Beck Taylor involves community in his inauguration

The inauguration of Beck Taylor as the 18th president of Whitworth University will be more than the ceremony at 3 p.m., Friday, Oct. 15, in Cowles Memorial Auditorium at Whitworth.

In a week-long series of events will involve the university and community in exploring what it means for Whitworth to be a “Community of Courage.”

Beck Taylor
Beck Taylor

Beck looks forward to engaging with the Whitworth community to explore new ways to live out the mission. He said few universities “walk the narrow ridge that bridges a rigorous, open academic culture with clear commitments to the centrality of Jesus Christ and the authority of Scripture.”

He said Whitworth honors Christ in its quest to nurture the mind and to “engage society’s important issues” as it seeks to live its mission from 1890 to equip students to “honor God, follow Christ and serve humanity.”

“When fundamentalism boasts of easy certainty, Whitworth invites tough questions and vigorous debate. When relativism dismisses the notion of moral conviction, Whitworth insists on a place for transcendent, capital-T truth. In the tension of this grand paradox at the heart of Whitworth’s mission, minds and hearts of students are forged for great things,” Beck comments.

The other events include a community panel, an artist’s presentation, a political analyst’s lecture, a theologian’s lecture, a reception, dinner and an inaugural picnic.

• Ted McGregor, The Inlander publisher, will moderate a community panel at 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 11, at the Bing Crosby Theatre, 901 W. Sprague.  Panelists Breean Beggs, civil rights attorney; Betsy Cowles, chair of Cowles Company; Anne Kirkpatrick, Spokane Police chief; Lonnie Mitchell, pastor of Spokane’s Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, and Julia Stronks, Whitworth professor of political science, will discuss what it would take for Spokane to be a community of courage.

• Seattle artist Chris Jordan will give a presentation at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 12, in Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth, showing artwork that depicts the impact consumerism. 

• Michelle Bernard, an MSNBC political analyst and president of the Independent Women’s Forum, will give a lecture at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 13, in Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth on “A View from Washington: A House Hopelessly Divided?”  She will weave current political events into the inaugural theme.

• Whitworth theologian Jim Edwards, who holds the Bruner-Welch Chair in Theology, will present a lecture, “Potentates, Priests and a Pariah: Reflections on Luke 3:1-2 about Divine Revelation in Human History” at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 14, at Weyerhaeuser Hall. 

After the Inauguration Ceremony on Friday, there will be a 6 p.m. Inaugural Reception and Dinner in the Riverside Room of the Spokane Convention Center.  The Inaugural Picnic will be at noon, Saturday, Oct. 16, at Whitworth Fieldhouse.

For information, call 777-3449  (dinner), 777-4580 or email