Sterling College inaugurates 12th president

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

On Oct. 18, 2013, Sterling College faculty, staff, students and guests attended the inauguration of Sterling College’s 12th president, Scott A. Rich. The inauguration was held at 9:30 a.m. in a packed Culbertson Auditorium.

The inauguration ceremony began with a time of worship and a welcoming address by Heather McCreery ’90, chair of the Board of Trustees. An invocation by Rev. Dave Landis was followed by the Sterling College Highland Singers performing Craig Courtney’s “Awake, Awake!”

Symbols of a basin and towel, cornerstone, Bible and presidential medallion served as a reminder of the pillars on which Sterling College was built: servant leadership, Christ as leader, the Word of God and the commitment to excellence. McCreery read a charge for each symbol, followed by Rich committing to serve with humility, with Christ as his foundation, with the Word of God in his heart and on his mind, and in service to Christ. 

Rich then delivered his presidential address titled “A Call to Extraordinary Service.”

“Students, you are called to be discernibly different. You have been called to be at odds with the statistics. You are called to be creative and thoughtful Christian leaders in a world desperate for servant leadership… You are called to a life of extraordinary service, one that needs not wait until that ever-looming graduation date, but one that begins today,” said Rich.

Along with the College’s mission statement, Rich also had two goals for the College.

“As we serve this institution, our goal is to train young men and young women how to think critically and to choose deliberately. Otherwise, we have failed you. Why? Because I believe that the quickest way to be deceived is to disengage. In other words, the quickest way to be deceived is to not think,” said Rich.

“My overarching goal as the 12th president of Sterling College is that when people leave this place, when students graduate, when they leave here knowing how to think critically and choose deliberately, that they would know for certain that God is at work in this place because they have seen Him in me, in us,” said Rich.

After the conclusion of Rich’s speech, a select group of friends, supporters, mentors and representatives of the faculty, staff, administration and students gathered to pray over Rich while assistant professor Mark Clark and his wife, Stacy, sang “My Life is an Offering.” The inauguration ceremonies ended with a benediction from Dr. Tom Simpson, a Sterling College Trustee.

Sterling College is a Christ-centered, four-year college located in Sterling, Kan., with a mission to develop creative and thoughtful leaders who understand a maturing Christian faith. For more information, visit