Hummel takes office as president of Tusculum University

A celebratory and prayerful tone filled Pioneer Arena as Dr. Scott Hummel took the oath of office during his inauguration as Tusculum University’s president.

The ceremony Friday, Oct. 22, for Dr. Hummel, the university’s 29th president in its 227-year history, was replete with well wishes from Tusculum family members, the community and U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. The event also reflected the importance Dr. Hummel places on his faith and Scripture as many participants read Bible passages selected by the president and incorporated prayer in their remarks.

Those verses were 1 Chronicles 28:9, Mark 12:29-31, Psalm 46 and Proverbs 2:1-10.

“Dr. Hummel, I want to encourage you, your colleagues, your family and your students to continue to bring your faith-manifested philosophy of life into the public square,” Blackburn said. “I encourage you and your family and your colleagues and your students to do this fearlessly, consistently and without apology.

“By accepting the role of president of Tusculum University, you accepted the duties of administrator, educator and spiritual leader to one of the brightest and most impressive student bodies in Tennessee. You have made a commitment to support them and to guide them on their life’s path, which will lead them to their faith-manifested destinies. And you will encourage them by living out Christ’s example in the way you do your job. Now, it is a heavy job, but we know that you are equal and prepared and ready for that burden.”

In her address, Blackburn recalled the discussion she had in the spring via Zoom with Tusculum students about the intersection of faith and government. She called it one of the most impactful she had had this year.

“I’ve thought a lot about that conversation that we had in April, because as the months have rolled by, it has become more and more clear to me that to truly live our faith, we have to do more than just incorporate our faith into our work and our conversations with other people,” she said. “Instead, I think the word to peg on this is that we must manifest our faith in every word and every deed and every interaction until that constant presence of the Holy Spirit that we feel within us motivates everything we do – and it becomes a more reflexive action to live that faith.”

As he spoke to the audience, Dr. Hummel expressed gratitude for all of the people who have made a difference in his life. They include people who told him about the importance of reading his Bible every day and served as mentors to him.

Many people who have been part Dr. Hummel’s life or represent institutions where he has served were part of the platform party or sat in the audience. They included Dr. Johnny Dupree, the former mayor of Hattiesburg, Mississippi; Dr. Ben Burnett, executive vice president of William Carey University; and Dr. Jim Watson, a professor at LeTourneau University.

Dr. Hummel is an alumnus of William Carey and served in high-level leadership positions there for 12 years. He also taught at LeTourneau for 10 years, the last four of which he served as chairman the Department of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries.

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