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Presidential Inauguration


Dr. J. Derek Halvorson was inaugurated as Covenant College’s sixth president on October 5, 2012. Dr. Halvorson, who graduated from Covenant in 1993, is the College’s first alumnus president.


Mr. Martin Moore, chairman of Covenant’s board of trustees, welcomed the attendants, and Dr. Jeffrey Hall, vice president for academic affairs, delivered the invocation. Mr. Moore then led the congregational prayer for the president, written by Dr. William Tate, professor of English. Charges to the president were given by Dr. Hans Halvorson ’95, brother of the president; Miss Susanna Griffith ’13, president of student senate; Dr. Cliff Foreman, professor of English and faculty moderator; and Dr. Michael Ross, moderator of the 40th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America.


After Dr. Maren A. Halvorson, the president’s mother, read Jeremiah 6:16 and Romans 11:33-12:2, Mr. Moore led the ceremony of inauguration. Witnesses included Dr. Robert S. Rayburn ’72, son of founding college president Dr. Robert G. Rayburn; Mr. Philip Barnes ’77, son of second president Dr. Marion Barnes; third president Dr. Martin Essenburg; fourth president Dr. Frank Brock; and Dr. Niel Nielson, Covenant’s fifth president. Dr. Robert S. Rayburn offered a prayer of dedication.


President Halvorson’s inaugural address was titled “A Path with Purpose.” The ceremony concluded with a benediction from the Rev. Joseph Novenson, senior pastor of Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church, and congregational singing of the College hymn, “All for Jesus.”


Organ music was arranged and performed by Dr. Jeanell Brown, assisted by members of the Covenant Chamber Orchestra. Processional and recessional music was performed by Covenant’s Pipe & Drum Corps, comprised of Mr. John Bates ’88, Miss Emma Beers ’14, Mr. Brendan Chatterton ’14, and Miss Adriel Yaryan ’13. Mr. Damien Chaney ’13 and Miss Anne Marie Rowe ’13 served as standard bearers. Delegates from over thirty institutions were in attendance.


In honor of President Halvorson’s inauguration, faculty lectures are being given on the afternoon of the ceremony by Professors Jay Green, Timothy Morris, Rebecca Pennington, and William Tate.