John Mark Reynolds to become provost at Houston Baptist University
The Torrey Honors Institute will strive to continue functioning after the departure of its founder, Dr. John Mark Reynolds. | Courtesy of Nicole Boyle
A little more than a week has passed since John Mark Reynolds, the founder of Torrey Honors Institute, announced his decision to become provost at Houston Baptist University. This news has been met with sadness by both students and faculty.
“I am excited that Dr. Reynolds’ will have an increased position of prestige and influence at HBU,” junior English major Jonathan Diaz said. “He has contributed so much to Biola, and to my own education. I will miss him and his family immensely.”
According to an article in The Collegian, Houston Baptist University’s student newspaper, university president Robert B. Sloan is looking forward to working with Reynolds and described it as a “real plus” for the campus. As Reynolds mentioned in the blog post announcing his departure, the feeling is mutual.
“I knew there were ongoing discussions between them, and they respect each other’s work a lot,” Torrey associate professor Fred Sanders said.
Legacy of the program
Reynolds started the Torrey program in 1995 with only a handful of students. Now the program has 50 three-hour sessions per week, with 14 faculty members facilitating them, according to Sanders.
“[Torrey] was all Reynolds’ idea, and he shaped it, and initially, he put the whole team together,” Sanders said. “As we continued growing as a team, all of us collaborated on it. There’s never been a Torrey Honors Institute that hasn’t been built on John Mark Reynolds.”
Deciding the future of Torrey
As far as replacing Reynolds goes, Torrey is in the process of conducting discussions.
“It would be too premature to offer any speculation about the possibilities,” Torrey professor Robert Llizo said. “There’s nothing really to divulge at this stage. Whoever takes Reynolds’ place will have a leadership style of his or her own. [However,] the university is losing a great asset. Reynolds is a strong leader [with] an infectious sense of humor.”
The faculty is confident that Torrey will continue to flourish even in Reynolds’ absence.
“He built Torrey so that Torrey wouldn’t need him,” Llizo said. “He formed it, and had a strong vision. [His departure] is not a death, but is certainly a change. It will continue to do what it’s been doing — creating a generation of thoughtful Christian leaders.”