The inauguration for the seventh president of Andrews University, John Wesley Taylor V, will occur on Tuesday, October 24, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. in the Pioneer Memorial Church sanctuary. All faculty, staff, students, and other friends of the university, as well as those who have been invited as official delegates and special guests, are welcome to attend the service.
For those unable to attend in person, the Ceremony of Inauguration will also be livestreamed at andrews.edu/livestream.
The guest speaker for the event is Dwight K. Nelson, a fifth-generation Adventist and fourth-generation preacher, who served for 50 years as a pastor in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Forty of those years, from 1983 to 2023, were spent in one location, Pioneer Memorial Church on the campus of Andrews University. Nelson is a globally recognized speaker and author of more than a dozen books. Both he and Taylor earned doctoral degrees from Andrews University in 1986 — a Doctor of Ministry for Nelson and a PhD in curriculum and instruction for Taylor.
Taylor became president of Andrews University on July 1, 2023, following the retirement of Andrea Luxton, the sixth president.
The ceremony gives the institution an opportunity to formally recognize the president in his new role and to reaffirm historic commitments, to rally the academic community around the president, and to heighten institutional visibility.
Taylor was born in Puerto Rico and has served as teacher and administrator at elementary through graduate levels in a dozen different countries. Before joining Andrews University as its president, Taylor served as an associate director of education at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, editor of College and University Dialogue, chair of the board for The Journal of Adventist Education, and executive secretary of the Adventist Accrediting Association of Schools, Colleges, and Universities.
He has served as a professor and dean of the School of Education & Psychology at Southern Adventist University; professor, associate dean and director of doctoral programs and administrator of the Division of Online Learning at the School of Graduate Studies at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies in the Philippines; and a professor and founding dean of the Division of Graduate Studies at Montemorelos University in Mexico.
Taylor said, “Here at Andrews University, we are inspired by mission, and we are committed to mission — to the mission of our university, to the mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and to the gospel commission that God has given to us and which inspires all of our journeys forward. By God’s grace, I endeavor to lead with empathy and compassion, with a clear sense of purpose and with integrity.”
A public Presidential Tree Planting ceremony will also take place on October 24 at 2:30 p.m. on the main campus near Buller Hall. The concept of commemorative president’s trees was begun by Dennis Woodland in 1994 at the inauguration of Niels-Erik Andreasen.
Founded in 1874, Andrews University is a premier institution of higher education for the Seventh-day Adventist Church and offers more than 150 areas of study, including advanced degrees. Its main campus is in Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States, and the university also provides instruction at colleges and universities in more than 25 countries around the world.