The Rev. Clint Davis, chair of the Erskine Board of Trustees, has released the following tribute to outgoing Erskine President Dr. Robert Gustafson and First Lady Beth Gustafson.
As Dr. and Mrs. Robert E. Gustafson prepare to depart from Erskine, the Board of Trustees thanks them for their excellent, Christ-honoring service. Their commitment to the Christian faith and devotion to Christ are evident to all who have known them or worked closely with them. Dr. Gustafson led Erskine with his eyes on Christ. Mrs. Gustafson pointed her students to the Savior through the literary works they studied in her English classes. They both interacted with the Erskine community with the grace and dignity befitting faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.
During his tenure as president, Dr. Gustafson led a collaborative effort between the Board of Trustees and the General Synod of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church to edit and update the denomination’s Philosophy of Christian Higher Education. This effort promoted unity between the denomination and the Board of Trustees while clarifying Erskine’s understanding of the school’s mission and responsibility to the General Synod.
The president worked along with his chief academic officer to recruit and hire Christian faculty members who understand and carry out the integration of faith and learning in the classroom. These new faculty members have strengthened Erskine’s already academically robust and faithful faculty.
Most recently, the president navigated the uncharted waters of the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping Erskine on track to fulfill the five-year enrollment growth plan adopted in 2018. The initial stages of this plan have already bolstered Erskine’s economic stability, expanded campus housing options, and generated excitement among current and prospective students.
Because of these accomplishments and many others during the president’s tenure, Erskine is in a much stronger position now than in November 2016. The Gustafsons’ quiet resolve and self-sacrificial leadership have united the campus and set Erskine on a course that will enable the institution to thrive for years to come. Thanks to Dr. and Mrs. Robert E. Gustafson, Erskine’s students will continue to be “equipped to flourish as whole persons for lives of service through the pursuit of undergraduate liberal arts and graduate theological education.”
Soli Deo Gloria!