Introduced by Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee, the Rev. Dr. James Gilchrist, senior pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, served as the Charter Day speaker.
In his convocation address, “The Deep Logic,” Gilchrist said that every -ology, whether it be biology, meteorology or psychology, reflects something of the Word of God.
“A well-educated Christian finds connections in the deeper logic of things,” Gilchrist said as he shared examples of early modern scientists who were also devout Christians, citing great minds like Isaac Newton, who wrote almost as much about the Bible as physics, and Galileo Galilei, who was a devout Catholic.
Gilchrist also urged the upcoming generation of leaders to do a better job than those before them.
“The world desperately needs the kinds of qualities that are cultivated at a truly Christian university,” he said. “I hope that you find those qualities here, and I hope that you go out and share them with the world.”
During the convocation, Lee presented Gilchrist with the University’s A.B. Miller Leadership Award in recognition of Gilchrist’s exemplary spiritual and social leadership.
“In honor of the public spirit exemplified by former Waynesburg University President Alfred Brashear Miller and in recognition of your embodiment of the highest principles of this institution, Waynesburg University honors you,” said Lee.
Gilchrist’s outreach through mission work has led him to travel throughout the United States, Latin America and Europe. Recently, he traveled with members of Westminster to Malawi and India. Gilchrist is a regular participant in the Council on Foreign Relations Workshop on Religion and International Affairs.
He teaches in the Doctor of Ministry program at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and previously taught at Carnegie Mellon University and Dickinson College.
Also during the ceremony, Lee conferred upon Charles Beiter the title of professor emeritus of English. Beiter, who joined the University in 1966, retired from his full-time position in May 2015.
“For nearly 50 years, you have devoted yourself through a number of roles and service on countless committees, leading and inspiring students, colleagues, administration and the Waynesburg University community as a whole,” Lee said of Beiter. “Today, we recognize you as a highly respected educator and acknowledge all the ways that you have challenged and encouraged your students to lead lives of purpose.”
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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations
724.852.7675 or firstname.lastname@example.org