Inauguration: Students, Alumni Excited About the Future of CIU

CIU President Dr. Mark Smith at inaugural reception
November 06, 2017

By Michael A. Lanier, Naomi Balk and Bob Holmes

Students, alumni and others expressed excitement about the future of Columbia International University as Dr. Mark Smith was ceremonially inaugurated as the seventh president of CIU. The Nov. 3 event was held as part of the Homecoming 2017 celebration.

Presenting greetings from the students, Student Body President Kyle Jones told the hundreds of alumni and dignitaries gathered in Shortess Chapel, that after Smith officially became president on July 1, he brought “a sense of anticipation within the student body.”

Addressing Smith directly, Jones added, “the students, have heard your heart for us, and for the university” and that “you relationally care for, and act for, the student body.

“We look forward to serving alongside you as we ‘impact the nations with the message of Christ,’” Jones added quoting from CIU’s mission statement.

The Inaugural Address was given by 2017 CIU Alumnus of the Year Ralph Enlow Jr. (’72,’82), who serves as president of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE). He noted that while CIU anticipates growth under Smith’s leadership, he added, “I implore you that during your administration there will be as much attention to CIU’s core, as to its circumference,” a reference to CIU’s Five Core Values.

In his Inaugural Response, Smith said he will strive to expand the school's educational horizons while never neglecting the calling God has placed on the CIU students.

“We stand by the fact that we will use new ideas and 21st century technology, but we will stand by the fact that making Christ known is what we'll stand for until we die,” Smith added.

After the ceremony, CIU junior Abigail Cotton said Smith is in her prayers.

“I pray that this new era we are moving into be positive and true to where we came from,” Cotton said.

“I am excited for Dr. Smith’s time here,” added senior Nathan Kyles. “He has a good understanding of the history of CIU and still plans to move forward. I see the Lord doing good work though him.”

Hear the Inauguration on CIU's podcasts.