It was not a usual Friday afternoon on the Hill: This occasion only happens once every ten to fifteen years of the college’s 182 years of existence.
Students dressed in red, faculty cancelled all classes starting 1:30 p.m. “This invigorating vibe is so different but it feels so good,” say Christopher Cole ’14 from Detroit, Mich.
On Friday, Oct. 11, Adam S. Weinberg was inaugurated as the 20th president of Denison University. The ceremony took place outdoors on the college’s Reese~Shackelford Common, in front of a crowd of well-wishers including members of the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff members, emeriti faculty, students, alumni, Granville community member.
The scene resembled that in the Induction ceremony, but this time, students were in line on the two sides of the walk leading into the Commons, cheerfully clapping and greeting as Denison’s faculty, staff and special guests led the way for Adam S. Weinberg into the ceremony.
Denison’s Chair of the Board of Trustees Thomas A. Hoaglin welcomed the guests. “Today, we formally induct Adam Weinberg into our family, and we bestow upon him the symbols of the presidency.”
Representatives of Denison constituencies offered remarks and greeting for President Weinberg, including Provost, Kimberly Coplin; Student body President Ana Morales; Catherine Dollard, associate professor of history and chair of the faculty; Zaven Karian, professor emeritus of computer science and mathematics; Casey Chroust, member of the class of 1997 and president of Denison Alumni Council; and Sandra Cook, an associate in the Office of the Registrar and president of the Denison Operating Working Staff.
Also present in the special ceremony were Denison three most recent presidents: Andrew De Rocco (1984-1988), Michele Myers (1989-1998), and Dale T. Knobel (1998-2013). Hoaglin extended the college’s warm gratitude to their accomplishments, service and dedication to the college.
The induction address was delivered by David Bayley ’55, a life trustee, distinguished professor emeritus at the State University of New York at Albany, and a specialist in international criminal justice. Bayley’s topic was “Denison’s Ambition.” Bayley emphasized the importance of the liberal arts experience: in the midst of all media shaping the youth about the immediate need of applicable skillsets, Denison is playing its key role in developing critical thinkers and well-rounded individuals for the world.
Hoaglin presented Weinberg with the presidential medal, saying “Adam Weinberg, it is my great privilege to welcome you formally as you assume the presidency of Denison University.”
“We produce leaders, community builders, and innovative thinkers,” Weinberg said during his inaugural address, titled “The Importance of a Well-Directed Course of Education.” “Our students remind us of the power of the liberal arts through the lives they lead. They demonstrate how the liberal arts not only free us to become the person we want to be, they allow us to become a much better person than we might have been.”
At the conclusion of the address, Weinberg asked that audience stand with him and sing Denison’s alma mater, “To Denison,” written by an alumnus in 1903.
The Inauguration was continued with the Inaugural Ball planned by the University Programming Council on the same night, gathering a large crowd of students, faculty and guests.