Dr. Gene C. Crume Jr. Installed as Judson University's Sixth President
(Elgin, IL - October 24, 2013) Judson University celebrated the installation of its sixth president, Dr. Gene C. Crume Jr. in a ceremony on Thursday afternoon, October 24.
Dr. Crume was honored in opening remarks by Elgin Community College President Dr. David Sam and Elgin Mayor David Kaptain, as well as several members of the Judson community.
"The City of Elgin is as good as it’s ever been in the half century since Judson University settled here," said Mayor Kaptain. "I look forward to building a deeper relationship with Dr. Crume and with Judson University in the years to come as we work together to make our community shine."
Shalina Wozny, student body president, gave welcoming remarks to Dr. Crume.
“We listen with anticipation to your plans. We know that you will help us reach our potential, and help us shape the world that we haven’t even begun to understand. You will inspire us with your leadership as you take this new role,” said Wozny.
Judson's Faculty Moderator Dr. Jim Halverson also gave a warm speech to welcome Dr. Crume.
"A mere greeting is not enough; we welcome you, Dr. Crume. We invite you into the hospitality of our community. Your quiet, warm confidence has already begun to transform this university. We are so thankful to have you here," said Dr. Halverson.
Dr. Crume was introduced by Dr. Thomas Meredith, senior fellow for the Association of Governing Boards, former head of three university systems and the former President for Western Kentucky University.
"Gene's respect for faculty, appreciation for staff, and deep, abiding love for students all spell success for Judson University," said Meredith in his introduction of Dr. Crume.
Drawing on his deep commitment to the Christian faith along with his extensive leadership experience, Dr. Crume spoke about the value of "committed unity" in his inaugural address.
"My definition of unity is when we live in faith with great hope because we love one another," said Dr. Crume. "I end all of my speeches with the statement 'It is a great day to be a Judson Eagle' because it is a statement of unity, of faith, hope and love. It is an expression of faith, remembering those who established Judson University in faith 50 years ago. It is an expression of hope, just as it says in Isaiah 40:31, ‘those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles.’ It is an expression of love for each other, because that is what brings us here today. I accept the opportunity to serve in unity with you as we shape lives that shape the world. It is truly a great day to be a Judson eagle."
Following his speech, Dr. Crume was officially inducted as university president by Chair of the Board of Trustees, Nate Adams '80.
"There is no more appropriate time to celebrate this presidential installation than the day before Founders' Day, when we will celebrate principles and people that made Judson what it is today," Adams noted in his remarks. The presidential installation ceremony preceded the university's annual Founders' Day on Friday, October 25, which will mark 50 years since the university was established in Elgin in 1963.
Other program participants included President of Iowa Wesleyan College Dr. Steven Titus and Reverend Alfy Austin, who is the senior pastor of World Gospel Church in Terre Haute, Ind., where the Crume family used to attend. The three previous presidents of Judson University, Dr. James Didier, Dr. Jerry Cain, and Dr. William Crothers, also participated in the ceremony by praying over Dr. Crume before his official induction.
After the ceremony, the community gathered for an informal reception in the Dining Hall of the Betty Lindner Campus Commons.
In the sixth months since stepping into his role as university president, Dr. Crume has connected with the community, both on campus and in the Fox Valley, through numerous events, including Judson’s World Leaders Forum which hosted former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in April, as well as Judson’s Community Prayer Breakfast in May, and the annual Independence Day Parade in Elgin. He was also a guest speaker at the City of Elgin’s 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony.
Before coming to Judson, Dr. Crume served as an independent consultant working with institutions such as Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota and the Peru State College Foundation (Nebraska) on issues related to external relations and strategic planning. Dr. Crume spent a significant portion of his career at his alma mater, Western Kentucky University (WKU), where he served as the Executive Director of the WKU Alumni Association and taught as an adjunct instructor. His career also includes serving as Executive Vice President and Assistant Professor at Midland Lutheran College (now Midland University) and President of the Indiana State University Foundation.
Dr. Crume grew up in Owensboro, Ky., and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations and his Master’s degree in Communications from Western Kentucky University. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in Education with a minor concentration in Organizational Leadership from the University of Virginia. Throughout his career he has been committed to passing on his experience and knowledge by serving as assistant professor or adjunct instructor for classes in business, public relations and communications at several institutions, including Western Kentucky University, Indiana State University, Midland Lutheran College, Mars Hill College and the University of Virginia. He has also served as a keynote speaker at college commencements, leadership seminars and association meetings. Dr. Crume has authored articles for national magazines, newspapers and academic journals.
Dr. Crume is married to Cindy Smith Crume of Bowling Green, Ky., also a Western Kentucky University graduate with a degree in Public Relations. The Crumes reside in West Dundee with their son Gene III. Their daughter Alexandra is a freshman at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.