Inauguration to Celebrate History, Family, Community

Ceremony will formally recognize Mauri Ditzler as 16th president of Albion College

September 5, 2014

Albion College President Mauri Ditzler
Dr. Mauri A. Ditzler

A traditional event with ceremonial pomp will graciously acknowledge the past, then turn its focus to an envisioned future during the inauguration of Mauri A. Ditzler as Albion College’s 16th president Friday, September 12. Members of the Albion College and city of Albion communities will gather on campus for the occasion, along with alumni, friends, and college delegates from across the U.S.

The Inauguration Ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. on the steps of Kresge Gymnasium on the west side of the College quadrangle. In the event of rain, the ceremony will be held in Goodrich Chapel. The event is the centerpiece of a three-day Celebrate Albion! gala that includes Family Weekend and Community Day activities on Saturday, September 13.

Ditzler, whose tenure as president began on July 1, comes to Albion with a well established record of higher-education success built over 35 years, most recently as president of Monmouth College in Illinois.

Building communities, a liberal arts college's role in that work, and the overall place of liberal arts education in a 21st-century American democratic society will be among the themes touched on in remarks by Ditzler and special-guest speakers. The speakers include Richard Longworth, senior fellow of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and previously a distinguished and award-winning international journalist, and Dr. John Churchill, who as secretary of Phi Beta Kappa serves as the chief executive officer of the nation's oldest academic honorary society.

J. Donald Sheets, '82, chair of the Albion College Board of Trustees, will preside over the ceremony.

"'Joy' is a word that is central to Mauri's vocabulary; he finds joy in virtually everything he does," Sheets said. "This inauguration truly represents a joyous beginning. It is a high moment for our campus community and the Albion family, and we look forward to hearing his thoughts about Albion and the role it might play in American society in the years ahead."

The procession, scheduled to begin at 1:45 p.m., will feature representatives from nearly 60 colleges, universities, and educational associations; alumni from 47 different class years spanning more than a half-century; 19 international student flag bearers, and seven students who will offer readings at various points during Ditzler's inaugural address. Additionally, members of the Sister City committees of Albion and Noisy-le-Roi and Bailly, France will be in attendance.

The Inauguration will be streamed live on the College's Ustream channel, and an archived broadcast will be available September 17. Excerpts of speaker remarks as well as descriptions of the overall scene will be tweeted throughout the event on the Albion College Twitter feed, @albioncollege.

Following the ceremony, an Inaugural Reception will be held on the east end of the quadrangle, near Robinson Hall (the rain location is the Science Complex Atrium). Later, at 7 p.m. in nearby Victory Park, Javier Colón will perform in a free concert for the community. The day's events follow a Thursday, September 11 expert panel discussion on "Albion Tomorrow" and precede a full slate of Family Weekend and Community Day activities on Saturday, September 13. Visit albion.edu/inauguration/schedule for a complete listing of Celebrate Albion! events.