By Jennifer Gilnett | Photos by Luke Rutan, Daniel Sheehan, and Eleni Hannula
The April 2, 2013, ceremony to inaugurate Seattle Pacific University’s 10th president, Daniel J. Martin, was both a testament to the institution’s history and a glimpse of its future. On stage in McCaw Hall, five former presidents sat side-by-side as more than 200 students performed “Hallelujah — From Christ on the Mount of Olives.” In the audience were faculty, staff, students, alumni of all ages, and delegates from more than 65 colleges and universities.
Nine months after he arrived on campus, Martin was formally presented with the presidential medallion and accepted the mantle of SPU leadership. Earlier in the day, he participated in a worship service and ceremony of commissioning in First Free Methodist Church on campus. The events of the day-long Inaugural Celebration were the highlight of a busy Inaugural Year, in which SPU hosted a symposium with guest speaker James Davison Hunter, and spotlighted 10 Academic Showcase events.
Advancing SPU’s mission to engage the culture and change the world had been Martin’s theme during the Inaugural Year. He pledged to pursue the mission within the “complex context” of challenges facing higher education today. “Let us have the courage, resolve, and faith to envision a future worthy of our boldest aspirations,” he exhorted in his inaugural address.