President Schrum: E&H Possessed of Powerful Spirit of Generosity

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Posted on: Friday, April 25th, 2014 by Kevin Call
A spirit of generosity pervades the Emory & Henry College community and– in large and small ways – touches the lives of people well beyond the campus borders, said Jake B. Schrum, who was inaugurated Friday as the College’s 21st president.

A spirit of generosity pervades the Emory & Henry College community and– in large and small ways – touches the lives of people well beyond the campus borders, said Jake B. Schrum, who was inaugurated Friday as the College’s 21st president.

Click here to watch the full inauguration video The keynote address by Dr. James T. Laney can be viewed at the 30-minute mark. The swearing in of President Jake B. Schrum can be found at the 1 hour and 41 minute mark, and is followed by President Schrum's address to the college community.

The E&H spirit of generosity is reflected in the large accomplishments and the everyday acts of kindness of students, alumni and college employees. “It allows us to be agents of hope in a world desperate silver linings,” Schrum said.

Schrum said that Emory & Henry people are most generous “when we embrace our legacy, which calls us to ask and pursue the most meaningful questions in our lives.”

The president of the E&H Board of Trustees, Bill Pendleton, delivered the oath of office to Schrum, who was flanked by his wife, Jane Schrum, and the two most recent presidents of Emory & Henry, Drs. Tom Morris and Rosalind Reichard.

The ceremony was held in the King Athletic Center on the E&H campus before a large gathering of students, alumni, faculty and representatives from other institutions of higher education.

The inaugural keynote address was delivered by Dr. James T. Laney, former ambassador to South Korea and former president of Emory University in Atlanta.

A longtime friend of Schrum, Laney underscored the new president’s theme of E&H generosity. “Something magical goes on here,” Laney said of Emory & Henry. “Something transformative is taking place.”

Laney went on to say that generosity and other virtues of a liberal arts education were under threat by economic pressures that encourage students to look at “careerist” education and social pressures that inhibit an education that probes larger, sometimes contentious questions.

Emory & Henry, Laney said, has a moral authority – derived from its traditions, commitment and sense of purpose – to overcome those challenges.

“We are not just playing with careers or success. We are talking about something larger than ourselves, larger than a nation. We are talking about the will of God,” Laney said, referring to Emory & Henry’s tradition as a faith-based institution. “We need the liberal arts to dispel the darkness of ignorance. We need learning to expand the learning of our mind and the generosity of our heart.”