Inauguration events to mark installation of President Schlissel


Friday is inauguration day.

With a ceremony steeped in tradition and symposia addressing some of the pressing issues facing higher education, Mark S. Schlissel will be officially installed as the 14th president of the University of Michigan during a 3 p.m. ceremony at Hill Auditorium.

President Mark Schlissel will be inaugurated as U-M’s 14th president on Friday. (Photo by Scott C. Soderberg, Michigan Photography)

Inauguration day gets underway with two panel discussions addressing the topics of biomedical research and privacy. Following the installation ceremony there will be a community welcome celebration to cap off the day that features student performances.

All of the day’s events are open to the public at no cost; complimentary tickets are required for the installation ceremony.

The inauguration takes place at the end of the first week of classes for the fall semester. Schlissel took over as president July 14, succeeding Mary Sue Coleman who retired after 12 years at U-M.

The university will continue a tradition dating back at least 150 years by hosting academic symposia associated with the inauguration. The symposia will take place in Blau Auditorium at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business.

The first runs 8:30-10 a.m. and will focus on “Sustaining the Biomedical Research Enterprise.” Nobel laureate Dr. Harold E. Varmus, director of the National Cancer Institute, will lead that discussion with U-M faculty members.

The second symposium, scheduled for 10:30 a.m.-noon, will explore “Privacy and Identity in a Hyperconnected Society.” Leading that discussion will be Alessandro Acquisti, a Carnegie Mellon University professor and internationally renowned speaker and expert on the behavioral economics of privacy in social networks.

Past inaugural symposium topics have included “The Function of a State University,” “Academic Freedom and Social Responsibility: The University and International Relationships,” and “The Present Status of Research in American Universities.”

The installation ceremony at Hill Auditorium begins with a formal academic procession that will include hundreds of delegates from colleges and universities within Michigan, across the nation and around the world. These esteemed faculty members and leaders of higher education will join members of the Board of Regents, university deans and executive officers, and U-M faculty members.

The traditional procession will start at the Rackham Building and take participants up Ingalls Mall to the Diag and the Hatcher Graduate Library before looping back to Hill Auditorium.

The ceremony itself follows long-established U-M traditions that include the musical selections and a performance by the Men’s Glee Club. Lorna G. Goodison, professor of English, and Afroamerican and African Studies, will read an original poem she has written for the occasion.

Speakers during the ceremony will include Scott E. Masten, professor of business economics and public policy, who chairs the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs; Gov. Rick Snyder; Provost Martha E. Pollack; and Katherine E. White, chair of the Board of Regents.

Ruth Simmons

The featured speaker for the inauguration will be Ruth Simmons, former president of Brown University, and a mentor to Schlissel. Simmons served as Brown’s 18th president from 2001-12. Schlissel became Brown’s provost in 2011.

Following his formal installation, Schlissel will deliver the traditional President’s Address, during which he is expected to share his academic values and his aspirations for the university.

A community reception on Ingalls Mall will immediately follow the ceremony at Hill. This more informal, outdoor event will serve as a welcome back celebration for students and give the university and Ann Arbor communities an opportunity to meet and mingle with Schlissel, university leaders and guests from academia.

Refreshments will be served and entertainment will be provided by student groups to celebrate the arrival of the new president.


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