Today I begin my tenure as the sixth president of Florida College. I am humbled and energized by the encouragement from students, alums, and friends across the country as I lead FC into its 76th year. In the past month, we’ve celebrated our beloved retiring president, Dr. Buddy Payne, and the graduation of one of our largest and most accomplished senior classes in the school’s history.
As is always the case with beginnings in life, a new president starts with what endures from the past: traditions, conventions, and legacies. It’s “building on the good,” as my grandfather, James R. Cope, would often say. Of course, there is also Jesus’ teaching about “new wine into old wineskins” (Luke 5:37). Some things must or should change, so stay tuned for news about academic programs, new faculty and staff, a new website, and renewed campus facilities.
But this new school year brings continued emphasis on the mission of the College: teaching spiritual disciplines while educating young minds, developing loyalty to God’s Word in a Christ-centered community, and leading cross-shaped lives of sacrificial service in the world. These are our most important educational values and ventures. With my presidency, the pursuit of our mission will remain the same.
There are some old names (meaning they are familiar!) joining me on the new leadership team of the College: Virginia Maness, Jamie Lewis, Andrea Hastings, Mike Benson, Roxanne Wilson, Jonathan Barlar, and Chase Teichmann will continue to serve with excellence in their respective areas. We welcome Phil Robertson as a leader on the Advancement team, Alyssa Johnson directing Technology, Dr. Tom Hamilton as the next Academic Dean, Tim Earnhart guiding the Public Relations and Strategic Communications area, and Dr. Annetta Hastings as Chief of Staff. Annetta will advise and assist me in the President’s office as we deepen our relationships with families across the country and plan a future as the destination college for New Testament Christians. Along with our unparalleled faculty and staff, these Christian leaders will serve our broader Florida College family.
We want this family to include you and your family, and I hope this summer to visit a camp or community near you. I hope to see you soon!