BY DANA REESE
On Saturday, April 6, during the Installation and Investiture Ceremony in Abeloff Center for the Performing Arts, East Stroudsburg University (ESU) formally welcomed Dr. Marcia G. Welsh as the thirteenth president.
After a week of events in celebration of the inauguration, the ESU community came together for the ceremony.
Dr. Peter H. Garland, Acting Chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), and Mr. Guido M. Pichini, Chairman on the Board of Governors of PASSHE, performed the investure of Welsh.
Dr. Edward Owusu-Ansah, Dean of the Library and University Collections, acted as Master of Ceremonies.
“We welcome you to this investiture of Marcia G. Welsh, PhD….An investiture, steeped in tradition and rich in pageantry, is a significant ceremony in higher education. It has a two-fold purpose: to present the new president in formal convocation to the public and to admit the university to reaffirm its commitment to its primary goal of advancing the excellence of the institution in all of its endeavors.”
Faculty and student delegates attended the event in academic attire. The University Brass Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Otis French, as well as the Warrior Marching Band Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Mr. Jim Wilson, performed at times throughout the ceremony.
ESU Army Reserves Officers’ Training Corps acted as Color Guard for the morning, and senior, Paula Dixon, sang the national anthem and alma mater.
Representatives from across PASSHE and the university spoke briefly congratulating the president. The student representative was current Student Senate President, Lauren Zirkelback.
“Over a year ago, our previous president, Dr. Dillman, announced his retirement, and I had the honor and pleasure of representing my fellow students on the presidential search committee. Our mission was to look for someone to lead our school in molding its future…I can honestly say that I could not be more impressed with the outcome”
Each academic department and student organization was represented by a chosen student delegate.
Dr. John Hauth, Professor and Chairperson of Athletic Training, and also Co-Chair of the Presidential Inauguration Committee, expressed his future hopes for Welsh and the university.
“Dr. Welsh, ESU is a special place—a profound and extraordinary place for those like me, who had the good fortune to experience it directly…we urge you to preserve the best of its values while you lead us to new and unknown possibilities. Preserve and reinvision what we as an institution do best.”
Dr. Van A. Reidhead, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, spoke on Welsh’s time at ESU.
“In the months leading up to this inaugural event, Dr. Welsh has challenged the Vice Presidents and every leader in our divisions to expect the best, and nothing but the best, of what we individually and together can be and do.”
Dr. Robert L. Caret, president of the University of Massachusetts, introduced President Welsh.
After she was sworn to office, Dr.Welsh received the Presidential Medallion from Mr. L. Patrick Ross, Chairman on the Council of Trustees.
“The medallion, or pectoral, has long been a symbol of the rights, authority, and power of kings and queens,” explained the program.
Next, Dr. Patricia Graham, Grand Marshall of the ceremony, presented Dr. Welsh the University Mace.
After being invested and installed as the thirteenth president of East Stroudsburg University, Dr. Welsh gave her Inaugural Address.
“My goal is to create an environment in which change is not only possible but a natural part of our definition of what a learning community is,” said Welsh.
With allusions to the theme of Great Expectations and relations of her hopes for the University, Dr. Welsh spoke about outreach and innovation as goals for the university community’s future.
“Whether you are a student, faculty or staff member, alumna or alumnus, we need to show our community appropriate respect and commit ourselves to being a better neighbor.”
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