• Lillie Burke

President Jones shares grand, Christ-centered visions for the future of Belmont in inaugural address

With the presidential medallion glinting around his neck, Belmont’s President Greg Jones invited the university and the Nashville community to join him in letting hope abound.

At his inauguration ceremony Friday afternoon, Jones summed up his hopes for the university: that it would be Christ-centered and continue to have God-sized dreams. 

The ceremony focused on Jones’ acknowledgement of the university’ spast and his vision for the future. His address was filled with gratitude for Belmont’ community, thanks for the leaders who came before him and promises to continue their legacy. 

“May Belmont be a hope-inspiring place in a time of moral failures and crises and leadership,” Jones said in his address. “May Belmont be a character-forming place in a time of tumultuous change. May Belmont be a future-shaping place in a time of isolation. May Belmont be a community-engaging place.” 

Jones’ inauguration Friday marks the first official change in leadership since the university’s former president, Dr. Bob Fisher, took office 21 years ago.

Jones highlighted a number of themes present in all the inaugural events, including building community on campus and in Nashville and his goal to make Belmont the leading Christ-centered university in the world by 2030. 

This sentiment was shared by Jones’ fellow speakers, including former Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.

“Our prayer for this school is that it will continue to be a Christ-centered university that is thinking about how it serves the community around it, the city that it’s a part of and the state as well, as sending people out to the far reaches of the world with what they’ve learned here,” he said.

The ceremony capped off three days of festivities celebrating Belmont and welcoming the Jones family. 

“I think at every event that you had the opportunity to see highlighted the specialness of who Belmont is and the ways in which we’re moving into a future that is inspiring and that makes a difference in the world for all people,” said Heather Daugherty, Belmont’s university minister. 

The event was preceded by a chapel sermon delivered by the Rev. Susan Pendelton Jones in the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts. This was one of the events President Jones was looking forward to the most, he said. 

“I think that hearing her preach will really center me in a really important way,” Jones told the Vision in an interview. “Like the prayer service this morning was really moving to just kind of remind me that today is about God and about Belmont, not about me.” 

PHOTO: President Dr. Greg Jones delivers his inaugural address Nov. 5 in the Curb Event Center. Belmont Office of Communications.

This article was written by Sarah Maninger and Elizabeth Kapsch.

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