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Nyack Community Says Farewell to Dr. David and Betzi Schroeder

Posted by Deborah.Walker on Tuesday September 6, 2005

On Tuesday, August 23, the faculty, staff and a number of trustees gathered to begin the school year with prayer and worship and to express their deep appreciation to Dr. David and Betzi Schroeder for their twelve years of leadership as President and First Lady of Nyack College.  Dr. Ron Walborn and David Bancroft began the days service by leading the over 300 in attendance in songs of praise and group prayer.  Dr. Walborn challenged all present to see our God as One who continually does a new thing, both in terms of individual lives and in institutions like Nyack College.  He asked us to see with Gods eyes and believe that even though Dr. Schroeder, a visionary president, is leaving the College, God has laid a mighty foundation through him to build a Christian university.  Thus, we will continue to see the newness of the Spirit in our midst in the years ahead.


Dr. Schroeder then enjoined the faculty, staff and trustees to continue to walk in the presence of God.  He read Pauls farewell to the Ephesians that spells out rich blessings for those who continue to walk in the light of the Spirit.  In a very personal way, Dr. Schroeder described how God had worked in his life and especially in the last five years how he and Betzi have been blessed by newness from God.  Betzi also shared her testimony and as she finished, the audience stood and applauded the Schroeders in a display of love and gratitude that lasted for some time.


For the remainder of the morning, Mr. Ronald Eastman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, thanked the Schroeders for their courageous and pioneering leadership.  He then spelled out the transition plan, naming David Jennings Interim President and the members of the Presidential Search Committee.


The highlight of the afternoon, and indeed, the highlight of the day was the Commissioning Service for Dr. and Mrs. Schroeder, as the campus community released them and blessed them for their ministry with International Teams.  Dr. Martin Sanders and Prof. Chuck Davis began the service with communion.  Prof. Davis spoke of the blessing that would now accrue to the college community as its President and First Lady begin missionary service.  Dr. Steve Bailey then performed a traditional Laotian separation or leave-taking ceremony.  He placed Laotian shawls over their shoulders and then, kneeling before them, asked, on behalf of the faculty and staff, for forgiveness and reconciliation, so that, as we part from each other the future path between us would be cleansed.  Dr. Bailey then tied strings to each of their wrists, symbolically tying them and their futures to Jesus.  In closing this stirring service, Dr. Sanders prayed that the Lord would continue to bless David Schroeder with great vision well into advanced age and that Betzi would so radiate with Jesus Christ that all about her would see the presence of Jesus.


The day concluded with a wonderful dinner served on the lawn of the newly purchased Bradley estate.  Its retreat-like setting was a perfect complement to a day rich in spiritual blessing as well as sad leave-takings as David and Betzi were leaving Nyack the next day.  But Tuesday, August 23, will be remembered as a wonderful day of blessing for Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary as the whole community of faculty and staff paid tribute to the Schroeders.  One of the richest blessings we saw that day was the presence of God during this period of transition, and so we look forward to the new thing that He will do in all of our lives in these coming days and months.


--Dr. David Turk

Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs
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