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Wednesday, August 10, 2022 — Houston, TX

From professor to college president

By Seth Brown     4/7/11 7:00pm

Sociology Assistant Professor Michael Lindsay will be leaving Rice this summer to become the eighth president of Gordon College in Massachusetts.

Lindsay said he was approached by Gordon College's presidential search committee in September and asked if he would be willing to have his name put under consideration for the position.

"I am very happy at Rice, and I wasn't sure if this was the time to make a move," Lindsay said. "However, I wanted to at least learn more about the college."

Lindsay said that by February, the conversation had become much more serious, and he realized that going to Gordon was a real possibility.

"I came to Rice because I felt a deep sense of calling to the work here – I felt very confirmed that the things that I could bring to the table in Rice's sociology department were precisely the things that could be of benefit," Lindsay said. "While I was considering this new role, I felt the same sense of conviction and calling."

Lindsay said that the unanimity of the decision to select him as Gordon's next president gave him the confirmation that Gordon was the right place for him to go.

"It will be difficult and sad to leave friends, colleagues and students I love, but I'm convinced this is the right thing for me," Lindsay said.

Lindsay said that although he hopes to continue teaching at Gordon, he will first need to spend a few years getting accustomed to being president at Gordon.

"As president, I'll be the person who wakes up every morning thinking about Gordon College, loving the school and wanting to advance its mission," Lindsay said.

Gordon is smaller than Rice and has an explicitly faith-based mission, Lindsay said.

According to Gordon's faculty handbook, all administrative officials and faculty must share the beliefs expressed in the college's Statement of Faith.

Lindsay, a member and adult bible study teacher at West University Baptist Church, said that part of his conviction in his decision is because of Gordon's alignment with his own faith.

"Gordon is very special in that it is a place of deep faith and significant academic inquiry – among Christian institutions, it's at the very top in valuing the life of the mind," Lindsay said. "I hope that my presidency will advance that mission even further."

Lindsay said that he also hopes to help make Gordon — which he said is perfectly located to make significant contributions in several areas such as marine biology — better known.

"I have an evangelistic zeal for Gordon," Lindsay said.

Sociology Department Chair Elizabeth Long said Lindsay has contributed to Rice on multiple levels, including through his teaching, research and work with the Social Sciences Gateway program and Program for the Study of Leadership.

"His research has been very exciting and has brought Rice media visibility," Long said. "He has connected Rice with the community in a very productive way for the university."

McMurtry College senior David Sorge, who has worked with Lindsay as a research assistant through the Humanities Research Center since last summer, said Lindsay has inspired him in a number of ways.

"[Lindsay is] one of the most hard-working people I've ever seen," Sorge said. "He's always on top of his game, and he has high expectations of himself and others."

Sorge said that besides helping with Lindsay's research, he is also currently taking Lindsay's Social Theory course, SOCI 380.

"He's definitely one of the best professors I've had here at Rice," Sorge said. "His teaching style is a good balance between Socratic questioning and lecturing."

Long said although the department would begin preparing this summer to start the hiring process for a new professor, it would be difficult to replace Lindsay.

"I don't know of anybody else who has quite that constellation of gifts and talents," Long said. "We're proud and happy for him, although we'll feel his loss quite keenly."

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