By Richard Pryor III
On Friday, October 12, the Board of Trustees elected the Rt. Rev. Robert Skirving (H’15) as the 25th Chancellor of the University.
Skirving serves as the Bishop of the Diocese of East Carolina, which covers the eastern third of North Carolina, where he has been bishop since 2014. Prior to that, he was the Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Midland, Michigan. Ordained to the priesthood in 1986, he served a number of parishes in Ontario before being called to St. John’s in 2005. Skirving is also originally from Ontario, making him the first Canadian Chancellor of the University.
In the wider church, Skirving has been a Deputy to General Convention and a member of the House of Deputies Committee on the State of the Church.
Skirving has served as a member of Sewanee’s Board of Trustees since 2014 and as a member of the Board of Regents since 2017. As Chancellor, he will be president, ex officio, of the Board of Trustees, and he will continue serving as a member of the Board of Regents.
As Chancellor, Skirving succeeds the Rt. Rev. Samuel Johnson Howard (H’04) of Florida, who has been Chancellor since 2012 and, according to the University’s press release, oversaw a period where “Sewanee enjoyed increased recognition as a leading national liberal arts institution, as well as growth in the influence and reach of the School of Theology.”
On his public Facebook page, Skirving commented, “I’m excited and also a little terrified. But to be clear, I will very happily be continuing as Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of East Carolina…I’m not going anywhere! My work at the University of the South will be my way of contributing to the wider life of The Episcopal Church. #EQB #YSR.”
Skirving will serve as Chancellor for the next six years.