Editor's Note: This version corrects Dr. Livingston's quote that 30% of the U.S. population will be Latino by 2060.
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Lourdes University’s board of trustees and the Sisters of St. Francis officially installed David Livingston as the ninth president of Lourdes University on Sunday.
At about 1:30 p.m. in the Franciscan Center, chairman of the board of trustees Thomas Geiger draped the university’s medallion over Mr. Livingston’s shoulders, officially marking the change in the institution’s leadership.
PHOTO GALLERY: Livingston inauguration at Lourdes
“We have heard [throughout the ceremonies] of Dr. Livingston’s strengths as a leader and a visionary. Under his direction Lourdes is sure to experience new success while also advancing the traditions that are pillars of our history,” Mr. Geiger said.
More than 600 people attended the ceremonies, that began with the Most Rev. Leonard Blair, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Toledo, presiding over a liturgy in Queen of Peace Chapel. In attendance were delegates of the University of Toledo, University of Detroit, Tiffin University, and Owens Community College, along with Mr. Livingston’s wife, Joan, daughter, Sara, and son, Matthew.
Mr. Livingston thanked all those who supported him during his academic career, and the Sisters of St. Francis for what they have done in the last century to “create and cultivate” Lourdes.
During his speech, which he personally penned, Mr. Livingston made a case for measuring success, in terms of higher education, beyond financial gain.
He cited the public debate that questions “the wisdom of continuing this path of educating a greater percentage of society.”
“They ask if it is worth the time, money, and energy,” he said.
He countered the doubts by highlighting three markers of success, professional pride, flexibility, and citizenship. He expanded on each, saying mastering one’s craft and adapting to the dynamic marketplace are two successful measures.
“Critical thinking, constructive thinking, and creative thinking weave together a form of person who is adaptable and flexible in what is an increasingly uncertain world,” he said.
Being exposed to different worlds and experiences, and touching on the needs of society, builds compassion — the foundation for citizenship, he added.
He also acknowledged the changing landscape of American society that presents a duty to educate a greater portion of the population.
“More than 30 percent of the U.S. population will be Latino by 2060,” he said. “There is an opportunity.”
Mr. Livingston, 48, formerly vice president of advancement of Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., succeeds Robert Helmer, who resigned in 2012.