(August 3, 2009)
Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073
Centenary College Welcomes New President
SHREVEPORT, La.—The nations’ oldest liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River welcomed its newest president Monday when members of the staff and faculty greeted Dr. B. David Rowe to the 184-year old institution.
During an early-morning reception in his honor at Hamilton Hall, Dr. Rowe addressed members of the Centenary community, saying that he has been waiting for this day for the last couple of months and is excited that it has finally arrived.
"I am pleased and delighted to be here," said Rowe. "I am humbled by your selection to be the next president of Centenary College. This is a great institution and we have some great days ahead. I appreciate you taking time this morning to welcome me."
Video 1: Rowe speaks to employees. | Video 2: KTBS Coverage.
The Centenary College Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Rowe as the 30th president of Centenary College of Louisiana in May, and succeeds Dr. Ken Schwab who earlier this year announced his retirement. He has served for the past nine years as the Vice President for Advancement at LaGrange College in LaGrange, Ga.
According to the new President, he is looking forward to being part of the team here and helping to find ways to advance Centenary into the future. He also admitted that he has a lot of learning to do “right off the bat” and wants to get feedback and comments not only from those assembled but everyone on campus on how to make Centenary a better place for those attending the institution.
"I want to get my ears in tune with what you see are the greatest needs of the institution and the greatest possibilities of the institution," Rowe added. "Please don’t hesitate to let me know what you think I need to know….let me know what you think are the greatest needs of Centenary College and what are the greatest possibilities for Centenary College."
He also took a moment to reflect on the recent loss of a young girl from Shreveport’s First Baptist Church who recently passed away and with whom many Centenary community members have close ties to. Pausing, Dr. Rowe asked that everyone present take a moment to remember her and her family in their prayers and to think about the privilege that those working at the College are given everyday to help young people fulfill their dreams and their promise.
"We get distracted by so many other things that seem important at the time…but at the end of the day, we have a very important privilege and responsibility to carry out, and that is to intersect the lives of families as they entrust their young sons and daughters to our care," said Rowe. "We have an opportunity and an obligation to listen with our hearts about what their dreams are, what their aspirations are, and to help them envision what their possibilities and futures are."
"Let’s use this moment of clarity, this moment of priorities, this moment of knowing what is truly important in life to focus in on what we do each and every day in caring for the young people that cross the Centenary campus. If we keep that as our central focus, if all of us are focused on that one singular mission, we can’t help but do the right thing, not only for each of those students, but cumulatively for this institution. Thank you for what you do, what you have been doing and what you will do. Please let me know what I can do so that I can help you succeed but also those young people to succeed."
Rowe, who turned 44 in June, is a Texas native and ordained United Methodist minister who has distinguished himself in higher education circles. He received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, his Master of Divinity from Emory University and his Ph.D. in higher education from Georgia State University. He and his wife, Jodi, have two sons, Carter and Philip.
About Centenary College of Louisiana
Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and is regularly rated as one of the top colleges in the South. In 2008 Centenary College celebrated 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.