Lafayette will embark upon a new era Oct. 4 with the inauguration of Alison R. Byerly as the College’s 17th president.
The Inaugural Convocation, at 4 p.m. on the Quad, will headline the historic day. Other events will include the panel discussion “New Models for Higher Education” at 1:45 p.m. in the Williams Center for the Arts, a luncheon and dinner, and the Inaugural Ball at 9 p.m. in Marquis Hall. The rain location for Convocation is Kirby Sports Center.
The inaugural luncheon will feature remarks by Jay Parini ’70, D.E. Axinn Professor of English and Creative Writing at Middlebury College. Kim F. Hall, Lucyle Hook Chair and professor of English and Africana Studies at Barnard College, will speak at dinner.
Also being held in conjunction with Inauguration are a student video contest and a virtual conference on the future of the liberal arts with commentary from more than 30 college and university presidents.
Byerly is a nationally known commentator on the role of technology in higher education, and has a deep commitment to an interdisciplinary and global approach to higher education. She served in leadership positions at Middlebury College for 13 years, most recently as provost and executive vice president, and was a member of the Middlebury faculty since 1989. She officially began her term at Lafayette July 1.
Byerly will present her inaugural address following her installation as president by Edward W. Ahart ’69, chair of the Board of Trustees, Stephen D. Pryor ’71, vice chair, and Nancy J. Kuenstner ’75, board secretary.
John M. McCardell Jr., vice-chancellor and president of Sewanee: The University of the South, will deliver remarks, and Ahart will provide welcoming remarks.
Several speakers representing various constituencies inside and outside the Lafayette community will offer greetings to the new president:
- Rose Marie L. Bukics, acting clerk of the faculty and Jones Professor of Economics, will speak for the faculty.
- Arthur J. Rothkopf ’55, president emeritus of Lafayette, will represent the presidents emeriti.
- Salvatore J. Panto, mayor of the City of Easton, will serve as the local community representative.
- Michael E. Prisco ’14, president of Student Government, will be the student speaker.
- Daniel H. Weiss, president of Haverford College and former Lafayette president, will represent the colleges and universities.
- David A. Reif ’68, president of the Alumni Association, will be the alumni representative.
- John F. McKnight, dean of Intercultural Development, will speak for the administration and staff.
Guy Hovis, John H. Markle Professor of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, will lead the academic procession as Bearer of the Mace. The mace is carried by the faculty member senior in rank of full professor. David W. Ellis, president emeritus of Lafayette, will marshal the delegates from colleges and universities. Thomas F. McGrail ’55, trustee emeritus, will lead the alumni delegates.
Annette Diorio, vice president for campus life and senior diversity officer, will marshal the student delegates. Wendy L. Hill, provost and dean of the faculty, will march at the head of the faculty. Alan R. Griffith ’64 and Charles E. Hugel ’51, former chairs of the Board of Trustees, will lead the trustees.
Alexandra Hendrickson, chaplain of the College and director of religious and spiritual life, will deliver the invocation and give the benediction.
The Lafayette Concert Band, conducted by Kirk O’Riordan, assistant professor of music and director of bands, will perform “America the Beautiful,” an original piece by O’Riordan called “Inaugural Fanfare,” “English Folk Song Suite: I” during the processional, “English Folk Song Suite: III” during the recessional, and accompany the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers, conducted by Jennifer Kelly, associate professor of music and director of choral activities, in performing the featured musical selection, “The Promise of Living.” The choir and chamber singers will also lead the singing of “The Alma Mater.”