BOLIVAR, Mo. (BP)–Amid traditional academic pomp and ceremony, C. Pat Taylor was inaugurated as Southwest Baptist University’s 24th president in April 25 ceremonies on SBU’s main campus in Bolivar, Mo.
Calling it the beginning of “an incredible journey,” Taylor accepted “the tremendous challenge and responsibility of leading Southwest Baptist University into the next millennium.”
The audience of more than 1,000 who filled SBU’s Pike Auditorium included delegates from other higher education institutions, three former SBU presidents, family representatives of three other former presidents, trustees, faculty, staff, students, community constituents and about 150 of Taylor’s former colleagues from Oklahoma Baptist University.
Taylor became SBU president in October 1996 after serving 10 years as chief academic officer at OBU.
OBU President Bob R. Agee, a long-time friend of Taylor, was keynote speaker for the inauguration. He said Taylor is “a champion at heart and thinks like a champion.”
“Be prepared for a push to set standards higher than they were a year ago,” Agee told the inaugural ceremony audience.
Taylor, a native of Kentucky, was a faculty member and administrator at Belmont University, Nashville, Tenn.; and Union University, Jackson, Tenn.; in addition to serving as a high school teacher and coach in Kentucky and Tennessee.
He earned degrees from the University of Tennessee at Martin; Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green; and the University of Memphis, Tenn.
His wife, Judy, is a former faculty member at OBU. They have two daughters.