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Convocation Message: Be Known as People of Compassion!

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Friday September 1, 2006

Friday morning, September 1 Convocation Chapel was a milestone event for the Nyack Rockland campus when Dr. Michael G. Scales presented his first Convocation message as new president of Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary.

Other highlights of the morning service, included the presence of retired School of Music professor, Dr. Paul Liljestrand, who traveled from his home in Georgia. The Nyack Chorale performed his composition based on Psalm 95, Come Let Us Sing to the Lord. Congregational singing was led by Rev. Kelvin Walker, new campus pastor at the college, who took command of the platform, just as he did earlier in the week during a rousing worship chapel. New faculty were warmly welcomed. Nearly overpowered by the hoots and cheers of students, Dr. David Turk, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, recognized the deans of schools and divisions.

Nyack Professor Miguel Sanchez presented Dr. Scales to the audience of faculty, staff, and students. A friend of the president for some twenty years and former Director of Admissions for Nyack, Prof. Sanchez acknowledged that the website and student publication had already shared biographical information about the president. Indeed the former Vice President for Admissions and Marketing is no stranger to the campus. But in one simple statement, the sociology professor paid homage by revealing the sentiment echoed nationwide by countless people who know Mike Scales: This man has changed my life.

The Convocation message, based on what is commonly known as the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15, mirrored the heart of the institutions new leader. Attention was drawn--not to the wayward son or his self-righteous elder brother--but to the unconditional love of the compassionate father. Putting each of the three men in biblical and contemporary context, he made the focus clear for his audience with this challenge: May Nyack College be known as a people of compassion.

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