SPRINGFIELD , Ohio – For only the 13th time in Wittenberg’s 160-year history, students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends will have the opportunity to witness history in the making as the university celebrates the inauguration of its 13th president, Dr. Mark H. Erickson, at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, in Weaver Chapel. Pre-service music begins at 10:30 a.m.
Titled “Distinctively Wittenberg,” the inauguration will begin with a formal procession in full academic regalia featuring more than 200 students, faculty, administrators, staff members and special guests. More than 70 delegates from colleges and universities across the country will also march in the procession, which will be led by bagpiper Alexander C. Kramer of Lawrenceburg, Ind., class of 2008. Prior to the procession, the bell located in the cupola of historic Myers Hall will ring for 13 minutes in honor of Erickson. Members of the Handbell Choir will also greet the procession as it enters the chapel by ringing two handbells 13 times.
William Steinbrink, chair of the Wittenberg Board of Directors and a 1964 alumnus, will preside over the ceremony, which will feature musical performances by the Wittenberg Choir and the IMANI Gospel Choir. William Adams, president of Colby College in Waterville, Maine, under whom Erickson served as one of only 34 nationally selected American Council on Education Fellows in 1997, will bring greetings as will a number of other campus and community representatives. The Rev. Dr. James R. Stuck, bishop of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, will bring greetings on behalf of the church.
As part of the formal installation ceremony, Erickson will be presented with the university charter
and other historically significant keepsakes. Greg Farrington, president of Lehigh University, where Erickson served in numerous capacities for 20 years, most recently as vice president for administrative and government affairs, will then introduce Erickson prior to his inaugural address
titled “Distinctively Wittenberg.”
The ceremony will be followed by a reception on Chapel Lawn, which will feature a Chinese dragon dance coordinated by Shih Ming Li Chang, associate professor of theatre and dance, in collaboration with Wittenberg’s internationally recognized East Asian Studies program. Eleven Wittenberg students representing a range of classes and disciplines will assist with the performance, weather permitting.
A range of other activities are also scheduled throughout the day, including historical walking tours of campus at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.; a Witt Expo featuring numerous student performances from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Alumni Way; the President’s Tennis Tournament from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the David B. and Georgiana S. Albright Tennis Complex, and an inaugural ball open for the Wittenberg community and special guests from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. in the Center Dining Room of the Benham-Pence Student Center.
Additional celebratory activities occurred throughout the week leading up the inauguration, which reflected Wittenberg’s long-standing commitment to global education, student-faculty collaboration and community service. They included a special guest lecture by award-winning scholar and noted author Rajan Menon, the Monroe J. Rathbone Professor of International Relations at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., a Fellow at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 22, and the student-sponsored Pizza with the President reception on Sept. 19. Students also coordinated a community service project to assist the women of Interfaith Hospitality Network and Rainbow Tables II, both in Springfield. In addition, Wittenberg students worked with Springfield Mayor Warren R. Copeland, professor of religion, to declare Saturday, Sept. 24, 2005, as Mark H. Erickson Day.For more on the inauguration, log on to the university’s inauguration Web site.
- Karen Gerboth
Send a Message
• Book-Delivering Prof Named Ohio Professor of the Year
• Senior Class Selects Livestrong President & CEO Doug Ulman As 2011 Commencement Speaker
•Communication Program Honored Nationally With Top Award
• Wittenberg University Art Students Finalists For Scholarship Award