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Inauguration Celebration Begins This Week; Ceremony 3 p.m. Friday

September 22, 2009 | by Alan K. Cubbage
Morton Schapiro discusses the transition into his new role at Northwestern, his first impressions of the school and his excitement about returning to the classroom. Video produced by Matt Paolelli

UPDATE: Due to inclement weather, the ceremony for the inauguration of Morton Schapiro as president of Northwestern University has been moved inside to the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion, 2311 Campus Drive. The ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9. Robing for the ceremony also will take place in the Sports Pavilion, starting at 2 p.m.

The inauguration celebration of Morton Schapiro as the 16th president of Northwestern University will take place Oct. 7-10, with the inauguration ceremony set for Friday, Oct. 9.

A variety of events, including academic symposia, a concert for Northwestern students by a top-name performer and opportunities for alumni and students to participate will take place during the inauguration celebration.

The inauguration ceremony will take place at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9 at Henry Crown Sports Pavilion, 2311 Campus Drive. In addition to remarks by President Schapiro, the ceremony will include a speech by Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman, an author and columnist for the New York Times. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony. All members of the Northwestern community are invited to attend the inauguration and the reception.

"We hope that many Northwestern students, faculty, staff and alumni will join us for this momentous occasion," said Sarah Pearson, vice president for alumni and development and chair of the inauguration planning committee. "This will be only the 16th time that there has been the inauguration of a new president in the nearly 160-year history of Northwestern, so it should be a memorable event."

Northwestern alumni from around the country also will have an opportunity to participate in the inauguration online on the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 9.  A live webcast of the inauguration and interviews of participants will be complemented by chat rooms, alumni photos, 360-degree views of campus locations and interactive games with prizes.

Earlier that day, President Schapiro will moderate a symposium on the economics of higher education. Panelists include: William Bowen, president emeritus of the Mellon Foundation; Catherine Bond Hill, president and professor of economics, Vassar College; Michael McPherson, president of the Spencer Foundation; and Burton Weisbrod, the John Evans Professor of economics and a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research.

Another symposium moderated by Northwestern alumna Kelly O'Donnell, Capitol Hill correspondent for the NBC television network, will examine the issues of energy and sustainability. Along with Friedman, panelists for that discussion will be: Kimberly Gray, professor of civil and environmental engineering and of chemical and biological engineering; Mark Mills, founding partner of Digital Power Capital, a private equity firm focused on new technologies; and Mark Ratner, the Lawrence B. Dumas Distinguished University Professor of chemistry and co-director of the Initiative for Energy and Sustainability.

Both symposiums are open to the entire Northwestern community and will be held in the Sports and Aquatics Center.

The inauguration festivities will kick off late Wednesday night when President Schapiro holds a "LiveWired Conversation." Northwestern students will have an opportunity to go online and chat with President Schapiro and leaders of student organizations who will be with the president at Norris University Center. Students are encouraged to participate, either in person or online.

Tickets are also still available to a special inauguration concert featuring Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter John Legend that will be held at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9 at Welsh-Ryan Arena. A valid WildCARD is required to purchase tickets, which are available at http://nbo.universitytickets.com/user_pages/event.asp?id=315&cid=22

On Saturday, the inauguration festivities will conclude with festivities at Wildcat Alley north of Welsh-Ryan Arena and the Northwestern football game against Miami of Ohio at Ryan Field. Kick-off for the game is 11 a.m. and Wildcat Alley will open two hours prior to game time.

At halftime of the game, four teams of Northwestern students representing each undergraduate class will participate in the "Schapiro Challenge" - a special relay race that will include wheelbarrows, textbooks and dizzy bat spinning and officiated by President Schapiro. Students are invited to cheer on their class during the special event.

"We invite the Northwestern community to share in this momentous occasion," Pearson said. "It's the perfect occasion to celebrate and to welcome the new president and his family."

For more information and a calendar of inaugural events, go to the Northwestern home page and follow the links to the inaugural coverage.

The inauguration and the symposia also will be webcast live. Pre-registration is required to view the events and the number of viewers is limited. To sign up for the webcasts, go to http://nuinauguralevents-live.com/preregister.cfm
Presidential Inauguration Coverage
Topics: University News