The Biola University symphony orchestra played to “The Old Hundredth Psalm” as faculty, delegates and board members walked in the processional for the ceremonial installation of Biola’s new provost and senior vice president, David Nystrom. His family and close friends were in attendance as the former vice president for academic affairs at William Jessup University in Rocklin, Calif., who began his work at Biola in August, was officially welcomed to the Biola community today, November 5, 2010.
Following the processional, a call and response of scripture reading and prayer was conducted. Biola’s president Barry H. Corey officially welcomed the many guests and students in attendance, and former provost of Fuller Theological Seminary, Robert K. Johnston gave a formal address in an affirmation of Biola’s values.
Johnston commented on the tone of the provost position as one of humility, something he said comes naturally to Nystrom.
Professors, alumni and deans formally presented David Nystrom with the following university charges and symbols of office: a lantern to symbolize biblical fidelity, bookends representing scholarship and academic excellence, a vine and branches to resemble spiritual formation, a door knocker symbolic of neighborly love, a wooden engraved plaque with a quote from founder Lyman Stewart representing diversity and multicultural programs, and a globe to represent global impact and missions outreach.
Nystrom gave the installation address, titled “God’s Glory, Neighbor’s Good,” on Luke 10:25-28.
Nystrom touched on five practical applications from his heart for his new role as provost. He desires to pay attention to the person in the classroom where transformation takes place, raise the bar academically in terms of scholarship and teaching, form partnerships with graduate programs and Biola’s larger community in Los Angeles, reaffirm Biola’s commitment to the city, and to foster a company of tireless seekers of the Christian intellectual journey.
Corey gave the prayer of dedication, followed by the closing hymn, “Be Thou My Vision,” and closed with the benediction.
David Nystrom would like to send the following message of gratitude to the Biola community.
I am the happy recipient of a life of rich interaction with a host of extraordinary people, some present today, some at a distance. To all of you, friends and family, I offer my thanks. I am blessed and consider myself most fortunate to know you. The most tender thanks are, of course, reserved for my family. Kristina is a woman of patience, insight and spiritual vibrancy. God has indeed been good to me in choosing us for each other. Annika, our daughter, is a constant delight and the framer of creative interaction. I love and thank you both. Finally, I am grateful to be asked to join the Biola community, and add to my thanks, a request that you continue to hold us in your prayers; prayers that have sustained us to this point in the confidence that, no matter the circumstance, the outcome can safely be left in God’s hands.