WENHAM — Dr. Michael D. Hammond will be the next president of Gordon College, the college announced Thursday.
Hammond is the provost and executive vice president at Taylor University in Indiana. His first day as president at Gordon will be July 1.
The announcement follows a seven-month national search for the private Christian liberal arts school's next president, after Dr. D. Michael Lindsay announced last fall he is stepping down as of June 30. Lindsay, who has been president at Gordon for 10 years, will be the new president at Taylor University.
In a statement, Carrie Tibbles, a member of the college's Board of Trustees and chair of the search committee, said Hammond embodies the qualities and aspirations voiced by many members of the Gordon community.
“Throughout this detailed assessment process, Mike Hammond exhibited a rare combination of academic credibility, a collaborative leadership style, deep spiritual character and maturity, a heart for students, and a passion for Christian higher education,” Tibbles said.
An Indiana native who trained as a historian, Hammond earned his Ph.D. at the University of Arkansas, his master's degree at Wheaton College in Illinois and his bachelor's degree from Taylor University. He has worked in Washington, D.C., and in Chicago and has held leadership roles at Southeastern University in Florida as well as at Taylor.
In his scholarly work, he has published and lectured on American Christianity and the civil rights movement, particularly in how the intersection of race and religion in 20th century played out in the United States.
“We felt it was particularly important not only that Gordon’s next president represent the best of both worlds through extensive competency in managing the academic program at the heart of a Christian liberal arts education as well as proven operational leadership experience, but that he also be able to build upon Gordon’s strong foundation,” said Herman J. Smith Jr. ’70, chair of Gordon’s Board of Trustees, in a statement. “Dr. Hammond stood out among a strong pool of candidates as both an innovator and a consensus builder who brings wisdom and a vision for our future. We are confident he is the right leader at the right time to successfully lead the College through the changes and challenges confronting institutions of higher education.”
In a statement, Hammond said he is excited to join Gordon College.
“This is an institution with an established tradition as one of the finest Christian liberal arts colleges in the United States, with a stellar academic reputation and spiritual vitality that I believe will poise Gordon to be a global leader in higher education for the 21st century and beyond," he said. "I look forward to seeing the College grow as a place where vigorous academic research and teaching are integrated with vibrant Christianity — where servant leadership is practiced, modeled and cultivated in our campus community and echoed through our alumni who faithfully participate in the work of Christ in the world.”
The Presidential Search Committee included 11 members of Gordon's Board of Trustees and representatives from the college’s faculty and staff. With assistance from executive search firm CarterBaldwin, they examined a pool of more than 70 applicants, including 10 presidents at other institutions. Faculty, staff and students also provided feedback and recommendations.
This story will be updated.