December 4, 2012 – Canadian Mennonite University began a new era of leadership on November 25, 2012 at a Service of Installation for President Dr. Cheryl Pauls. The Installation, held at River East Mennonite Brethren Church in Winnipeg, drew guests from local and national academic and church communities.
In his welcome, Dr. Paul Dyck, CMU faculty member who served as Worship Leader, framed the Installation as a gathering of a “University, in the presence of the church and the broader community, formalizing our call to one of our own to serve as President.”
Present on this occasion to bring greetings were Mennonite Brethren Church Manitoba Executive Director Elton DeSilva, and Mennonite Church Canada Executive Director Willard Metzger. Also among the guests greeting the new President were Canada’s Regional Minister for Manitoba, Hon. Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safefy; Hon. Erin Selby, Minister of Advanced Education & Literacy, Province of Manitoba; Dr. David Barnard, Chair, Committee of Presidents of Universities in Manitoba, and President & Vice-Chancellor, University of Manitoba; and Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, President & Vice-Chancellor, The University of Winnipeg.
During the Service, Dr. Pauls received a Charge from CMU Board of Governors Chair Marlene Janzen. “Canadian Mennonite University is at one of those irregular but reoccurring milestones that signal institutional progress and renewal,” said Janzen. “Behind lies a lengthy and honoured tradition of effective Christian education; ahead, significant opportunities and the challenge to create environments within and through partners outside the University in which the highest calling, thinking, action, and aspiration is supported and expected, to prepare our graduates for service in the church and society. We are grateful that Dr. Pauls has accepted this call and the responsibilities it entails.”
Reverend John Klassen, Pastor of Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Winkler, Manitoba, delivered the Homily, expressing his conviction that “the church embrace the invitation to be vital partners in the joyous mission of helping young adults see life through specific sets of lenses… I encourage all of us,” said Klassen, “to be sources of inspiration and encouragement as we support Cheryl’s work and as we run alongside her in the faith journey, and in shaping this incredible institution of learning and discipleship.”
In her response, Pauls invited those gathered to see the words, sounds, and symbols of the Installation as gifts, “and I receive them with honour on behalf of Canadian Mennonite University. At the same time, I invite you to share in the joy, the beckoning, and the challenge that rest in these gifts, for you are the cloud of witnesses that surrounds all that has been entrusted to this University.”
During a Community Blessing student, faculty, staff, alumni, Board, and constituency representatives symbolically placed scarves of support and blessing about the President’s shoulders.
Choral music and congregational singing were interwoven throughout and contributed richly to this important occasion.
Together Elton DeSilva and Willard Metzger, representing CMU’s church ownership bodies, shared in blessing Pauls. Speaking for the Mennonite Brethren church family, De Silva said, “CMU, as a university of the church, has an important place in shaping the leaders of tomorrow. We encourage you to keep your trust in God as your lead this University into the future. You stand supported by the prayers and encouragement of the faith community.”
“As Mennonite Church Canada, we renew our pledge to pray for Canadian Mennonite University, and to offer our ongoing support,” stated Mennonite Church Canada’s Willard Metzger. “It is in our efforts together that we experience the continued direction and renewal of the Holy Spirit. May our relationship always be aligned to the activity of God in our midst, that our present endeavours will continue to develop a future that will serve our church and society for the glory of God.”
Mary Anne Isaak, Pastor of River East Mennonite Brethren Church, offered the Closing Prayer.
Dr. Pauls and her husband Bryan Harder were accompanied on this occasion by their two boys, Nicholas and William, and by their parents and many close family members and friends.
CMU expressed appreciation to River East Mennonite Brethren Church for embracing the new role of their fellow-member, Dr. Cheryl Pauls, as Canadian Mennonite University’s President, and for graciously hosting the November 25, 2012 Service of Installation.
A Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, CMU offers undergraduate degrees in arts, business, humanities, music, sciences, and social sciences, as well as two graduate degree programs. CMU has over 1,600 students, including Menno Simons College and Outtatown students, and is a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC).
Biography of Dr. Cheryl Pauls, PhD, President of Canadian Mennonite University
Dr. Cheryl Pauls became President of Canadian Mennonite University on November 1, 2012. Her Service of Installation as President was held November 25, 2012 at River East Mennonite Brethren Church in Winnipeg.
Cheryl Pauls began teaching at CMU’s predecessor colleges in 1994, and came to the position of CMU President from that of Associate Professor of Piano and Music Theory. For the past twenty years, Pauls has thrived on exploring a diverse range of things musical together with highly engaged students in both the classroom and the piano studio. As a faculty member, Pauls also played a significant role in the University’s administrative activities; from 2000-2007 as Music Department Chair, and from 2008-2012 as Campus Chair of CMU’s Shaftesbury Campus.
Alongside teaching, Pauls has enjoyed a career as a piano soloist, collaborating musician, and lecture recitalist. She performs a diverse spectrum of music and has made a few forays into harpsichord playing; however, she’s known best as a player and active apologist of new music. Pauls has been active in Winnipeg’s new music scene, curating concerts and performing regularly for GroundSwell and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s New Music Festival; she also has been heard regularly on CBC radio broadcasts and in concert at universities, academic conferences, and concert series across the country. She credits Luciano Berio, György Ligeti, Elliott Carter, and many local composers for shaping her love of pieces for which there isn’t already a template of how the music goes. Pauls’ most recent project is a recording of Carter’s recent piano music. She considers this collection to be the most delightful set she’s ever encountered; Carter happened to pen these short pieces between the ages of 85 and 100.
Many of Pauls’ research projects seek to interface studies in music theory and performance with those in memory, physiology, liturgy, and cultural expression. Her recent publications include essays that engage the agency of musical metaphors within theological and socio-cultural studies. At the same time, she endeavours to explore what we think we’re doing with musical practices. Pauls also enjoys creating multi-media liturgical and concert projects in collaboration with her husband, Bryan Harder (and occasionally also their sons, Nicholas and William).
Pauls holds a doctorate in piano performance from the University of British Columbia where she studied piano with Jane Coop, Douglas Finch, and Robert Silverman, and music theory with John Roeder. Prior to that, she completed an M.Mus. degree at UBC, a B.Mus. at University of Manitoba, a BA from The University of Winnipeg, and a Bachelor of Religious Studies from one of CMU’s processor colleges, Mennonite Brethren Bible College.
Cheryl Pauls grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario, and came to Manitoba in 1983. Along with her husband and children, she is part of the River East Mennonite Brethren Church in Winnipeg, where she participates in worship leading and music and recently completed a four-year term as church moderator.