McDaniel’s presidential inauguration approaches

Kim Williams


McDaniel has been changing lives since 1867, and Saturday, April 16 at 2:30 p.m. celebrates a change in leadership as Dr. Roger Casey is inaugurated.

With nine presidents in our history, inaugurations do not occur every day, or even every decade, on the Hill. “It’s very unusual for a college of our age to have only nine presidents. We have a history of very long presidencies,” says Trustee and Emeriti Faculty Dr. James Lightner, who is chairing the Steering Committee for the planning of inauguration week.

Senior Andy Carr says, “I am planning on attending the inauguration. I feel like a new President is an important event for a college.”

The event begins with a formal academic procession made up of groups of people including the delegates (representatives from other colleges and universities), faculty, trustees and the platform party (people participating in the ceremonies).

The inauguration will also include the gospel choir singing, a ceremonial welcome, an official designating of the president to office, the singing of the alma mater, and a procession at the end with Casey leading the way.

President Casey will have an opportunity to give a speech during the inauguration. “Once he’s formerly invested, Dr. Casey will go to the lectern and give his inaugural address. It’s essentially his vision statement,” Lightner explains.

Lightner adds, “President Casey is quite a speaker, so it’s an opportunity to hear his thoughts.”

“I look forward to hearing what he has to say,” says Carr.

The inauguration may be April 16, but there is an entire inauguration week leading up to the event. The theme of the week is “Changing Lives for a Changing World” according to Lightner, and the activities of the week will focus on related topics including liberal arts, global awareness, community service and education.

While the events are far from finalized, Lightner says that the previous Saturday, April 9, “there’s going to be a community day of service planned.”

“Sunday the 10th in Big Baker will be a concert. It will feature most of our musical organizations,” Lightner explains. “It will be a nice Sunday afternoon event.”

During the night focused on education, Lightner reveals that “one of the panelists is going to be the 2010 Maryland Teacher of the Year, Michelle Shearer, who has a master’s degree from here.”

Another event to look forward to that week is the International Club Dinner. Lightner says, “The international dinner is going to be Wednesday night of that week.”

Senior Kristin Behrle, co-president of the International Club, remarks, “We’re really excited to have the international dinner during the inauguration week because it’s a great way to celebrate and highlight cultures on campus.”

There will also be numerous events during the day for students to enjoy. These include a jeopardy event with prizes and a taste of languages event, during which students will be taught some quick basics of a language.

“I know it’s going to be a busy week, but I hope students will come when they can,” says Lightner. And with so many different events being planned, there will certainly be something for everyone.