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A Promise Kept


Robertson & Muriel resized 600

J. Robertson McQuilkin served as the third president of CIU from 1968 to 1990, when he resigned to care for his wife Muriel, who needed full-time attention due to Alzheimer’s.

When McQuilkin had to decide whether to care for his ailing wife full-time or to continue serving as president of CIU, he said it was a no-brainer. The decision had been made 42 years prior when he promised “in sickness and in health…till death do us part.”

More than just “a matter of integrity,” it was the only “fair thing” to do. “[Muriel] sacrificed for me for forty years to make my life possible,” said McQuilkin in his resignation speech in 1990. “So if I cared for her for forty years, I would still be in debt.  However, there is much more. It’s not that I have to; it’s that I get to…It’s a great honor to care for such a wonderful person.”

More than just a touching love story (although it certainly is that as well), McQuilkin’s commitment to his wife is an example of integrity which, several years later, continues to stand in contrast with a culture that doesn’t value the importance of keeping promises.

Written by Abbey Le Roy, MA in Theological Studies from CIU's Seminary and School of Ministry

"Give us this day our daily bread." Matthew 6:11

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