The inauguration of David S. Janzen as Tabor College’s 14th president is set for Friday, Sept. 24. The day’s festivities will take place inside the Shari Flaming Center for the Arts.
An invitation-only dinner will open the schedule at 5 p.m. in the Prieb Harder Theater. It will be followed by a 7 p.m. ceremony in the Richert Auditorium and a dessert reception in the Regier Atrium.
“We are very excited to formally welcome Dr. Janzen as Tabor’s next president,” says Susan Franz Koslowsky, Tabor College board chair. “The inauguration is a way to not only honor and anticipate his leadership but to also recognize the heritage of Tabor and the legacy that has been built by so many strong and faithful leaders that came before him.”
The theme of the evening, “Compelled by grace, called to obedience, Christ in us” is built through Psalm 19:7-14 and Ephesians 3:14-21. It represents three pillars behind Janzen’s presidency, serving as the “motivation, action and result” of standing on the Christ-centered mission of Tabor College. It also serves as a celebration of what God has, is and will do through its alumni, students, faculty and staff.
Bryce Unruh (g’91) will serve as the emcee of the dinner and inauguration ceremony. He was a classmate of Janzen’s at Tabor, majoring in mathematics during his stay on campus. Unruh is a part of the research faculty at the University of Colorado-Boulder and has over 25 years of experience as an aerospace software engineer, including leadership roles in NASA for the Spitzer Space Telescope and Kepler Mission.
Mike Jordahl, senior vice president and national staff recruiting leader for The Navigators, accepted Janzen’s invitation to serve as the keynote speaker. Jordahl was a mentor of the president while Janzen completed his M.S. in computer science at the University of Kansas (1991-93). He has also served The Navigators for 40 years, helping the organization share the gospel of Jesus and help people grow in their relationship with him through Life-to-Life discipleship, creating spiritual generations of believers.
Pastor Mark Isaac (g’84) of New Life Community Church in Dinuba, California, will give the closing prayer and blessing for his brother-in-law and sister, Karen. One other familial tie will be Kristin (Janzen) Wiebe (g‘87), who will read the evening’s opening scripture.
Tabor performing arts will also participate in the inauguration ceremony. The concert choir will perform commissioned music by Chris Teichler, director of instrumental music and conducted by Greg Zielke (g’79), arts director and director of choirs. The Contemporary Christian Worship Team will perform an arrangement of “Be Thou My Vision,” by Ascend the Hill.
Janzen is a 1990 graduate of Tabor College. His wife, Karen, attended Tabor (1986-88) before graduating from Fresno Pacific University (1990) and earning a Master of Music in choral conducting from Northern Arizona University (1992). All four of their parents and each of their siblings, four total, also attended Tabor. Their children are Alexander (g’17), June, Simon and Amber.
Previous Tabor College presidents, as well as interim, are: Henry W. Lohrenz (1908-31), Peter C. Hiebert (1932-34), Abraham E. Janzen (1935-42), Peter E. Schellenberg (1942-51), John N.C. Hiebert (1951-53), Leonard J. Franz (interim & full, 1953-54, 1956-62), Wesley J. Prieb (acting 1962-63), Roy Just (1963-80), Vernon Janzen (1980-87), Vernon Wiebe (interim, 1987-88), LeVon Balzer (1988-94), Clarence Hiebert (interim, 1994-95), David Brandt (1995-98), Larry Nikkel (1998-07) and Jules Glanzer (2008-2021).
For more information and to register for the ceremony, visit www.tabor.edu/inauguration.
Tabor College is the Mennonite Brethren college located in Hillsboro, Kansas. The mission of Tabor College, founded in 1908, is to prepare people for a life of learning, work and service for Christ and his kingdom.