Celebrating the Inauguration of President Kenneth Long

President Kenneth Long in respective regalia (Photo Credit: ESU Insider)

Aliyah Williams
Copy Editor

ESU is holding a week of festivities from April 22-29 in honor of the official inauguration of President Kenneth Long.

Long was elected in November of 2022 as the 14th president of the university following a successful interim president position. He also previously served as the university’s chief administrative, financial and operations officer.

A planning committee of around 25 individuals was formed in order to make the inauguration a cumulation of successful, impactful, fun and informative events for many to enjoy.

“Before we could embark on making events we needed a theme,” said Thomas Grayuski, a member of ESU’s Council of Trustees and a co-chair of the inauguration planning committee. “So we went to President Long and we asked him for his theme, and he came back to us with; Creating Opportunities: Community, Engagement, and Belonging.”

“What he means by this is that we will move the university forward through our strategic plan, working tirelessly to build community relations and engage the community,” continued Grayuski.

As Long once expressed in his 2022 interview with the Courier, his mission for the university is “to make ESU the go-to school in the Poconos,” and to help students “feel comfortable talking to me and everyone else on campus.” This goal has been integrated into the premise of the inauguration theme and events.

The celebrations will begin on Sat., April 22 with a “Red-and-Black” football game at Eiler-Martin Stadium from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. A number of other events will follow, including a performance of “Cabaret,” a parade, an ice cream social and an inauguration dinner, among other exciting events.

“It’s great to see all of the lively activities by the Student Activities Association,” said Darlene Farris-Labar, a professor of art, media and design as well as a co-chair of the inauguration committee. “I think the students are going to have a ton of fun, and it’s great that President Long will be engaging in these, from karaoke to the ice cream social. Overall, it’s going to be a very exciting and fun week.”

An official kick-off parade will begin on Monday, April 27 at 8:00 a.m., which begins at the President’s residence with a Marti-Gras-style celebration. President Long and his family will exit his home to find an array of students, faculty and staff awaiting him excitedly with cheers.

Students are encouraged to attend the parade to help show joy and support for our new university president.

The official inauguration ceremony will take place on Thursday, April 27 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Students also have the opportunity to watch the ceremony live online.

“Seeing President Long up there on the stage thrilled to be our president will be a wonderful moment on Thursday,” said Farris-Labar. “We can’t wait for him to see his family’s proud faces and how proud everyone at ESU is of him as well.”

The inauguration planning committee’s hard work has prepared ESU’s campus for an exciting week of celebrations to honor Long’s commitment to the university.

“One thing about our committee that I’m most proud of is that we set challenging goals and had high expectations,” said Grayuski. “Not only did they meet our expectations, but far exceeded them. Without the collective work ethic and drive to make this inauguration wonderful, we wouldn’t be in the same position today. I’m sure that President Long and his family will be very proud and excited as well.”

To find out more about the schedule for the upcoming events, visit the ESU website.

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