Gordon College president named president at Taylor University

DAVID LE/Staff file photoGordon College President Michael Lindsay gives his opening remarks during commencement in May 2014. Lindsay, who is leaving this summer, has been hired as the president of Taylor University in Indiana.

WENHAM — Gordon College president Michael Lindsay has been named the new president of Taylor University in Indiana.

The Taylor University board of trustees announced the hiring on Tuesday, saying Lindsay would begin the job on Aug. 16. Lindsay had announced in October that he would step down at Gordon College this summer after 10 years on the job.

In a press release announcing his appointment, Lindsay called Taylor University "one of the world's foremost Christian institutions."

"We are humbled to be called by God and honored by the board's selection to serve the university, advance its distinctive mission in providing excellent, Christ-centered higher education and strengthen its promising prospects for future growth and development," Lindsay said.

Lindsay, 49, has served as president of Gordon College in Wenham since 2011. He said in October that it was a natural time to transition to a new leader because Gordon was set to complete a number of milestones, including a $130 million fundraising campaign that included a $75.5 million gift from an anonymous donor.

Gordon College said Tuesday that its presidential search committee is starting the vetting process for a new president. The college has hired the executive search firm CarterBaldwin to help with the process. The school said it would ideally like to introduce the new president at graduation in May.

"We are encouraged by the level of interest and the caliber of candidates who remain in our search pool," the college said in a statement.

Taylor University was founded in 1846 as Fort Wayne Female College and is located in Upland, Indiana, about 70 miles north of Indianapolis. Like Gordon, it is a small non-denominational Christian liberal arts college. Taylor has about 1,800 undergraduate students, compared to 1,500 at Gordon.

Gordon College said the two schools have partnered over the years in areas such as global education and public policy advocacy and in "setting the pace for faith-learning integration initiatives." Former Gordon president Harold Ockenga is a Taylor University graduate.

Taylor University has had an interim president since 2019. Chris Goeglein, the chairman of the board at Taylor, called Lindsay a "gifted individual of deep personal faith and proven servant leadership."

"His spiritual and intellectual development in cultivating and discipling the next generation of servant leaders is truly a calling," Goeglein said.

Lindsay's early years at Gordon were marked by controversy over the college's policies regarding LGBTQ people. Two professors filed lawsuits against the college claiming retaliation for speaking out against the school.

Enrollment at Gordon has grown in the 10 years under Lindsay, and the school had its strongest fiscal year ever in 2020, according to the college. But the school also eliminated 36 jobs and eight majors last year. In October, Gordon announced a 33% reduction in tuition.

In a note on its website, Gordon College congratulated Taylor University on an "inspired selection" and said it wished Lindsay and his family "our very best in this new chapter."

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2535, by email at pleighton@salemnews.com, or on Twitter at @heardinbeverly.

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