Parkyn is the school’s ninth president – and the third named David. The others were his immediate predecessor, David Horner, and David Nyvall, who served as the school’s first president.
Chicago Bears mascot Staley Da Bear was on hand as part of the festivities designed in part of help introduce the new president to the broader university community. Another fun event included the invitation for everyone sharing the name David to join the new president on the steps of Old Main – each holding a Parkyn face mask – for a photo opportunity (can you spot the real Parkyn?) Everyone at the event also wore “David” nametags.
Speakers – and non-speakers – gave symbolic gifts to David and Linda Parkyn. Staley presented them with a traditional Chicago hot dog, which turned out to be one of Linda’s favorite foods. “She is a connoisseur of hot dogs,” David Parkyn said. Sharon Peterson presented him with a jar of pickled herring on behalf of alumni and in honor of the school’s Swedish heritage.
Other gifts reflected a more serious tone. Kazi Joshua, director of the Center for Justice Ministries, presented a two-volume set of Plato’s Republic on behalf of the faculty. “I know that you share Plato’s passion for discovery and his thirst for truth and knowledge,” Joshua said.
Dean Lundgren, representing the denomination, presented Parkyn with the Evangelical Covenant Church Book of Worship. Karina Rico presented the couple with a world map as well as a map of Latin America on behalf of the Student Association.
“I know you both have a special interest in Latin America and a passion for multicultural education,” Rico said. The maps, she added, were symbols of the Festival of Culture that will be organized as part of the presidential inauguration weekend in November. Rico shared her remarks in Spanish.
Parkyn was raised in Guatemala and continues to have personal and scholarly interests in Latin America. Linda will teach Spanish at the university. Both have said the multicultural nature of North Park attracted them to the school.
Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.