Skip to main contentSkip to main navigationSkip to footer content
the Covenant experience narrative

The Blue Tribune is your place to learn about all things Covenant and keep up with stories from campus and beyond. By guiding you through the different aspects of Covenant, we'll help you decide if you want to pursue your very own Covenant experience.

The Inauguration of President Brad Voyles: The Student Perspective

brad voyles inauguration

On Friday, March 15, 2024, Covenant College had the privilege of inaugurating our seventh president, Brad Voyles. But apart from the official ceremony, a few exciting festivities took place to celebrate the momentous occasion. 

Chapel Q&A Time and Celebration Concert

On Wednesday, March 13, the last chapel before inauguration, our very own Chaplain Grant Lowe interviewed President Voyles and his wife, Kelli. This intimate question-and-answer forum was held in our chapel, per usual, with the three sat atop antique upholstered chairs. Our new president kept us awake and entertained with his wit and humor, and Mrs. Voyles brought many of us to tears with her story of how she knew she was going to marry her husband. The couple shared their hopes, dreams, and aspirations with us as a college, and they also asked for prayer requests on their behalf which consisted of wisdom and discernment and that they may continue to have time together, just the two of them, in this next season of life. The following evening the college was privileged to attend performances by the Covenant College jazz band, the choir and chamber singers, and the orchestra. 

Inauguration Ceremony

On Friday at 10 a.m., the inauguration ceremony started off with the bagpipes playing “Highland Cathedral.” The pipe and drum corp is comprised of Michael Whinery, a local piper, and our pipe corp’s pipe majors, Will Sotelo, Eli Stuart and Ana Krispin on bagpipe, with Hannah Parker and Glad Wong on drums. We were glad to have our board members, presidents and delegates of other colleges, and former Covenant College presidents from years past present for the events of the weekend. The college was led in a few hymns by our director of music, Dr. Scott Finch, in songs such as our college hymn, “All For Jesus,” as well as “God, All Nature Sings Thy Glory” and “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”

Charges from Family, Faculty, Church, and Student Body

The president received charges from his wife, Kelli Voyles; Dr. Sarah Huffines, who led us in a witty and insightful charge from the faculty urging him to enjoy this new position and to see the big picture; and Reverend Dennis Louis, a representative member of the PCA. He charged Voyles to be wholly committed to the Lord’s word, to ensure that the council he receives and gives goes through the lens of Scripture, and to be a man of faith and not a man of fear. 

Noah Sweatman ’24, the student body president of Covenant College, also charged the president and showed off a “Be Rad Like Brad” bracelet, which he borrowed from a friend. His main charge was for President Voyles to continue being the wonderful role model he had been in his previous role as vice president of student development and as interim president.

New President’s Address 

In his inaugural address, President Voyles asked the faculty and students to hold him accountable and to pray for him. President Voyles said, “My charge to you [the Covenant community] is this, hold me accountable. Please say something to me should you see me seeking my own glory, acting out of fear, should you see me looking to anyone or anything other than Jesus Christ. Hold me to the words that I am about to speak today. This is His college; I am merely a steward. Secondly, please pray for me. If we are faithful to fulfill this mission, grand as it is, we must expect attacks, we must expect the opposition of the evil one who seeks to frustrate His grand purposes, and one of his chief tactics is to splinter and come after the leadership, so pray for me.” His speech was humble and earnest, and if you were not able to make it to the inauguration, it is available on “Covenant College Streaming” on YouTube

Inaugural Ball for Students

After the official inauguration excitement of the morning, our wonderful Campus Activities Board worked hard to set up our own Carter Hall lobby into an Inaugural Ball venue. Due to heavy rainfall and cold temperatures, the tent which was set up outside was traded in for Carter Hall lobby, where a live jazz band played next to a black and white checkered dance floor for students to swing dance, and Covenant Creative Dining hosted a fancy dinner and served decadent desserts. After the jazz band packed up, a DJ took his place—many Covenant College students danced late into the night. The Inaugural Ball that ended the events of the day was for students only, in lieu of Covenant’s annual Spring Formal, but this time, hosted by the newly inaugurated president.

This article was originally published in The Bagpipe, Covenant’s student newspaper.

Connect with us