For Immediate Release
December 18, 2008
Office of College Communications
Wenham, MA - As President-elect Obama announced his selection of Dr. Rick Warren to preside over the inauguration in January, Gordon College president R. Judson Carlberg and the Gordon community celebrated both the significance of Warren's role and the historic occasion of the country's first African American president.
Warren, pastor of Saddleback Community Church and best-selling author, was the speaker for Gordon's 116th Commencement in May 2008. His Commencement address, available on the Gordon College iTunes U site, challenged the 320 graduating seniors to be responsible with the experiences they had gained in and out of the classroom. But his message also had personal significance: one senior was Warren's niece.
Warren told the students and nearly 2,000 audience members that they should invest their lives in things that will last such as God's Word and human relationships. "It's not the duration of your life that matters, it's the donation."
Because of his longstanding friendship with Warren, President Carlberg issued the following statement on Warren's role in the upcoming historic inauguration: "Rick Warren is an excellent choice to offer an invocation for this historic moment. Because of his leadership, many evangelical Christians have enlarged the scope of their ministry and work to address the crucial issues of our time: illiteracy, poverty, AIDS, and, of course, spiritual emptiness. Rick represents the shifting concerns of 21st-century Christians who are trying to live out their faith in a way that matters around the globe, without compromising the core of their beliefs. His sense of mission, as well as his friendship to us at Gordon College, reinforces what we've always believed is a part of our work: to equip Christ-like leaders who will embrace the historic moments of their time through service and prayer."