The University of Northwestern – St. Paul inaugurated its ninth president, Dr. Corbin M. Hoornbeek, on Friday, December 2, in front of a Knight Performance Hall crowd filled with students, faculty, staff, alumni, delegates, Board of Trustees members, and distinguished guests. The 90-minute ceremony, flanked by both a community breakfast and a celebratory luncheon, was comprised of a collection of God-honoring songs of praise and spoken words.
Dr. David Weeks, Dean of the Honors College at Asuza Pacific University (APU), presented a message to the president with an emphasis on leadership and Christian liberal education. Weeks, a longtime friend of Dr. Hoornbeek, recognized the new president’s “unflinching devotion” to Northwestern’s mission with his collaborative style, pastoral heart, and tireless pursuit. Charges to Dr. Hoornbeek were also presented by Ann Sorenson, Professor of Media at Northwestern; Mattie Krause, President of the Northwestern Student Government Association; Dr. Adam Wright, President of Dallas Baptist University; and Andy Youso, On-Air Host at 98.5 KTIS-FM. Dr. Alan Cureton, Hoornbeek’s presidential predecessor at UNW, closed the ceremony with a prayer of benediction.
Hoornbeek himself delivered a 15-minute address, referencing Jeremiah 29:4-7 and Matthew 5 to reinforce Northwestern’s need to “live as salt and light; as light and leaven for the good of the world” amidst times of unprecedented cultural, spiritual, social, and political division.
Ahead of four Christmas at Northwestern performances over the weekend, the Northwestern Festival Choir and combined instrumentalists performed several numbers in the inaugural ceremony, including “Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven” and Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus”.
Dr. Hoornbeek officially began his tenure as president on August 1, 2022 after a national search. Hoornbeek previously served as Vice President for University Advancement at APU for 11 years and spent more than a decade as Major Gift Officer at The Navigators, a global, interdenominational missions agency. Dr. Hoornbeek and his wife, Heather, have been married for 29 years. Originally from Bellingham, Washington, he earned a B.A. in Music from the University of Michigan, an M.A. in Theological Studies from Covenant Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from Dallas Baptist University.
A video replay of the ceremony can be watched on the inauguration website.