The next few weeks are filled with events that lead up to the inaugural ceremony for Chancellor Donna Henry.
The inauguration will be held at 2 p.m. April 22 in the David J. Prior Convocation Center. But events kicked off Monday with a birthday celebration for Thomas Jefferson on Founder’s Day.
“Having a variety of events on campus leading up to the official inauguration gives the entire campus community the opportunity to come together to celebrate Chancellor Henry’s leadership,” said Kathy Still, the college’s director of news and media relations.
The events will give students a chance to reiterate the impact that tradition has on institutions since inaugural ceremonies date back to the mid-16th century.
Events that led up to this momentous event include the Chancellor for a Day food drive and switch, Founder’s Day, a lecture by Pulitzer Prize winning author Stephen Greenblatt and the annual Day of Service.
Chair of the Inauguration Committee, Jacob Somervell, said “inauguration in general have rich traditions.
Common elements include processionals, music, and speeches. Our inauguration of Chancellor Henry will have those items. What makes this one different is the unique touch that Chancellor Henry brings. We have striven to include activities and events that reflect Chancellor Henry’s unique spirit and tastes.”
Kathy Still said, “Students will learn more about UVa-Wise and its history by attending Founder’s Day and they will broaden their minds by attending the Stephen Greenblatt lecture,” Still said.
Participating in the Day of Service, which is held in honor of Chancellor Henry this year, will give students an opportunity to volunteer and serve others, which is part of the College’s mission to produce graduates who can work to make their communities a better place.”
According to Still, the official inauguration ceremony will consist of a procession with delegates from many colleges and universities all over the country and a representative from student organizations on campus that will give an idea of how much the college has built up since being founded in 1954.
“Chancellor Henry’s family and friends will also attend the ceremony, which gives her an opportunity to introduce our college to them,” she said.
“Professor Donald Sorah has composed an original fanfare of professional music for the inauguration as well.”
The inauguration week started with the Founder’s Day party, celebrating Thomas Jefferson and the founding of both UVa and UVa – Wise. The event was held April 14.