The start of the fall semester not only marked my first anniversary as president, it also brought with it one of the most memorable days of my life – the celebration of my investiture as this great university’s ninth president.
I am grateful for the confidence that all students, faculty, staff, alumni, elected leaders, community members and University trustees have placed in me. The passion for this university is as abundant as it is obvious, so the trust that has been placed in me is both humbling and motivating.
You can read about the big day here, and in case you’re wondering why it comes with so much hoopla, let me explain:
The symbolism of the chain and medallion – a mark of the office – bestowed upon me at the ceremony speaks to the purpose of an investiture. I am a link in a chain of leaders who served as stewards for Montclair State University. Two of those past presidents, Susan A. Cole and Irvin D. Reid, who played defining roles in the evolution of the New Jersey State Normal School at Montclair into something that would have been inconceivable 114 years ago, were active participants in the festivities and welcomed me to this very exclusive club.
The investiture ceremony, with all its pomp and academic regalia, is a long-standing tradition that I see as a celebration of Montclair State University more than any individual. Ours is a vital institution that has been ambitious and pugnacious, confident and sometimes underestimated, but always focused on its public purpose. It was also a celebration of our power to do great things when we work collectively; we all built this special institution together and together we will do more great things.
So really all of us are links in this chain, connected to the people who for generations have brought their ambitions and industry to our beautiful campus.
As we continue to forge new partnerships, focusing on improving our communities and making the world a better place, we will add links to that chain to inspire generations of Red Hawks to come.