Dear Calvin Friends,
After a long season of prayerful discernment over the past year, I have informed the board of trustees that this coming year, our 10th at Calvin University, will be our last. As Andrea and I discerned a call to Calvin in 2011, we discovered a vibrant academic institution with a clear Christian mission anchored in Reformed tradition. We have been formed by this mission and the inspiring people we have been blessed to work with during our time here. I have no doubt that the next president called to this role will enjoy a fruitful, positive working relationship with the Calvin community.
I am grateful to all of you—the members of the board of trustees, the cabinet team, the faculty, staff, students, donors, and friends of Calvin University—for your prayerful support of Andrea and me during our tenure here. The relationships have been a gift to us, and we will treasure these friendships for years to come. You all have made us better followers of Jesus than we ever dreamed we could be.
This was a hard decision for us to make, but we now believe it is the right time to respond to the pull we feel to return to the Northwest to be closer to our family. Over the past nine years our family has grown and changed. We arrived at Calvin with active teenagers living under our roof. Now, family time has been reduced to fleeting moments with a family of young adults and aging parents who need more time and attention from us. During my 17 years in higher education leadership, I know I have missed a lot. The center of gravity for our family is now firmly rooted more than 2,000 miles away. During the pandemic, this distance only seemed greater to us. Having now emerged from this long crisis, we long to give greater emphasis to the family commitments in our lives.
I am very aware that the work of the 2021–22 academic year requires the president’s diligent focus. I intend to fulfill my duties with integrity and to give my full attention to the advancement of the institution’s mission and Vision 2030 in the time that remains. I want the community to know that the board has been very supportive of Andrea and me throughout our time at Calvin, and I have full faith and trust that the board will manage this transition well. I have been blessed to work with an excellent team of leaders during my time at Calvin, and I believe that they will be committed to a seamless transition to new leadership.
There is never a good time to go, but I believe institutions need periodic leadership renewal in order to remain vital. As I pass the baton, I have faith that God will call a person who will give new energy that these times demand and a fresh perspective on our mission and the way it may be fulfilled in the years ahead. The trustees and presidential search committee will have my full support in their work to identify the next president of Calvin University.
In closing this message, I have two requests. First, please join me in waiting until the end of this coming academic year to reflect on our time together over the past decade. We have too much to do now for us to spend time looking back. We can celebrate with a big post-Covid group hug in May. Second, please, again, do not think our decision is in any way related to dissatisfaction with Calvin. The dominant influence in our decision to leave is the pull of family and place. You have hosted us with warmth and grace. We will always think of our Calvin days with deep affection and appreciation. Please watch this video for a personal message from me.
With gratitude to you all,
Michael Le Roy