We lost our president last week. I’m saddened, especially given the circumstances and suddenness of everything. Thankfully, The King’s College is not any one person. Yes, it’s painful to lose a key member of our community, which will no doubt test our young institution. Leadership matters, but no one person makes or breaks the College.
We’ve been here before. During my 12 years at King’s, we’ve had four different presidents (counting Andy Mills). It’s not preferable to have that much transition at the top. Even so, the College not only weathered those transitions, but grew through them—in population, in reputation, in academic rigor, in influence. I’m confident the same will be true of this season.
King’s is the same institution today as it was two weeks ago—same vision, same curriculum, same faculty. We’ll be the same institution next week—and next year with a new president. Only better. More seasoned. Perhaps more shrewd.
It helps that we have strong leadership in Andy Mills, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and now interim president. And a search committee is already forming to locate our next president.
I already see positive signs. Many in our community, prompted by the events of last week, are revisiting the mission and vision of the College; fruitful conversations are taking place about what King’s is and where we are going. And, having been reminded of our dependence on God, students are regularly gathering to pray for King’s; faculty and staff are doing the same. I’m genuinely encouraged by these developments.
My experience at King’s over the past decade tells me that we need to take the events of last week in stride. Classes are still in session. The business of the College goes on. Life goes on.
Let’s not allow this occasion to make us cynical and jaded. This would be the greater tragedy. Rather, let us be thankful for President D’Souza’s contribution to King’s these past two years. Let us band together around the ideals and values that have made King’s great. Let us continue to seek God’s face and favor in earnest.
And let us stay the course. As we do, we will be a better institution—and better people.