Richard F. Wilson to Be Inaugurated as Illinois Wesleyan's President

March 31, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - Richard F. Wilson will be formally inaugurated as the 18th president of Illinois Wesleyan University during a ceremony at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, in the Shirk Center on the University's campus.

The public is invited to attend the inauguration ceremony, which is the centerpiece of a series of events celebrating Wilson's inauguration.

Named to the Illinois Wesleyan presidency in April 2004, Wilson took office in July. Among his first initiatives at the University, he has been active in pursuing a strategic planning process and in implementing an agenda to increase diversity on the University's campus.

In addition to Wilson's inaugural address, the ceremony will feature special music from University students and alumni, a poem written for the occasion by Illinois Wesleyan Professor of English Emeritus James McGowan, and greetings offered by individuals on behalf of various segments of the University and Bloomington/Normal communities. A reception will be held immediately following the ceremony, which will include representatives of more than 75 colleges, universities, and learned societies from throughout the country who will march in the processional.

The first event of the inauguration weekend is a panel of four presidents of national liberal arts colleges at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, in Westbrook Auditorium of Presser Hall. The panel, which Wilson will moderate, includes Donald Harward, president emeritus of Bates Colleges, S. Georgia Nugent, president of Kenyon College, Russell Osgood, president of Grinnell College, and John A. Roush, president of Centre College.

The Illinois Wesleyan Chamber Singers will present an inauguration concert in Evelyn Chapel at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday.

On Friday and Saturday, the University will hold a symposium featuring presentations by faculty, students, and alumni. The panels, all of which are open to the public, are in the Center for Natural Science at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 8, and at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 9. Poster sessions focusing on the work of students and staff will also be held Saturday, April 9, in The Ames Library and Hansen Student Center.

The Illinois Wesleyan Jazz Ensemble will present an inauguration concert at 8 p.m. on Friday, April 8, in Westbrook Auditorium of Presser Hall. The concert, highlighting the group's graduating seniors, is free and open to the public.

The celebration will continue on Saturday evening after the formal ceremony with two events: Light the Night, which will feature a variety of musical entertainment and will be held in the Memorial Center, and the Blue Moon Coffeehouse performance by John Gorka, which will be in Westbrook Auditorium of Presser Hall.

Details are available on the special Inauguration Web site.