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The Board of Trustees has named Dr. R. Kevin LaGree (MDiv '80) Acting President for Saint Paul School of Theology. This comes following the announcement from Saint Paul President Myron F. McCoy in August of his intention to leave Saint Paul during the summer of 2014 in order to embark on the next chapter of his ministry.
Saint Paul Board Chair Twila Glenn said, "We are pleased to be able to grant Dr. McCoy a much-deserved and long-overdue leave as he prepares for the next season of his ministry. We are also extremely fortunate that Dr. LaGree has agreed to provide leadership to Saint Paul during this time of transition and change at our seminary."
Dr. LaGree's term of service will be November 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014, to coincide with the period during which Dr. McCoy is absent from the seminary. The Board expects to name a President July 1, 2014.
As Acting President, LaGree will have full responsibility for both internal and external operations. He will reside in Kansas City and provide leadership at both the Saint Paul at Greater Kansas City and Oklahoma City campuses.
Kevin LaGree returns to the seminary with a multitude of Higher Education Administration and church experiences. He served as the Saint Paul Vice President of Institutional Advancement from 1986-1988. LaGree then went on to be Dean and Professor of Divinity at Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, GA and then President of Simpson College in Indianola, IA. His many memberships and public service positions include leadership roles in the American Academy of Religion, The Association of Theological Schools, The University Senate of the United Methodist Church, In Trust Magazine Board of Advisors, and the World Methodist Council. He has served urban, rural, and suburban churches and is a retired elder in the Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
LaGree holds a B.A. in history from the University of Kansas, a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.Div. from Saint Paul School of Theology, and a D.D. from LaGrange College.
Upon accepting the position, LaGree said, "By the grace of God, I was retired and fully available when the Saint Paul Board of Trustees approached me about this position. I am who I am as a person due in large part to Saint Paul. I can never repay what I owe to the seminary for educating and transforming me. There was never a doubt in my mind that, if selected, I would serve gladly, energetically, and enthusiastically."