First female UA president, Ann Hart, to be inaugurated
Kyle Wasson / Arizona Daily Wildcat
UA President, Ann Weaver Hart, speaks with community members at her first-ever town hall meeting, Oct. 31 in the Kiva Room.
After months of planning, Ann Weaver Hart will be inaugurated as the UA’s 21st president today.
The day-long inauguration event will include a brunch with the community and student leadership, a lunch with faculty members and the final ceremony in the afternoon. A lot of the event’s focus will be on students, said Jory Hancock, chair of the inauguration committee.
The afternoon will include the robing of different groups, such as faculty, the platform party and staff. They will dress in their academic regalia and walk in a procession to the east side of Old Main for an opening ceremony at 2:15 p.m., a ceremony that Provost Andrew Comrie will reside over.
“I’m excited,” Comrie said. “I think it’s going to be really a celebration of the event for President Hart, but also for the university.”
The colors will be presented, the national anthem and a Native American blessing. The procession will then continue to Centennial Hall for the main ceremony at 3 p.m.
Some of the speakers in the ceremony will include members of the Alumni Association, representatives of higher education institutions and student and faculty leadership.
“I think you’re going to hear a variety of messages from all these folks,” said Jaime Gutierrez, vice president of external relations, “but the bottom line will be that we all want to make sure we have a successful tenure for President Hart, and we’re here to help her accomplish her goals as much as we can.”
Along with Gov. Jan Brewer, Arizona Superintendent John Huppenthal and members of the Arizona Board of Regents, some former UA presidents are also expected to attend, including John Shafer, Peter Likins and Robert Shelton.
At the event, Regent Rick Myers will issue an inaugural charge, such as charge for Hart to have a judicious and faithful exercise of the powers of her office. Hart’s response is known as the inaugural address.
Hart’s inaugural address will articulate her vision for the future of the university and the “bold innovations required to ensure that the UA’s future is as prosperous as its past,” she said in an email.
Following the ceremony in Centennial Hall, there will be a reception on the lawn in front of the Arizona State Museum with refreshments, a mariachi performance, a dance performance and a performance from the Pride of Arizona marching band.
Hart and the planning committee, which consists of seven members, focused on lowering the costs of the event. The inauguration was funded as much as possible by private funds, Hancock said.
“It certainly has been our goal, understanding the economic situation, to really make this a very economical event,” Gutierrez said. “That’s why we’re only having one day. But also, at the same time, to have an event that is historical because we’re certainly inaugurating University of Arizona’s first female president, so it is a historical event.”
The event is free and open to the public.
“I hope that students come,” Hancock said, “because they’ll hear lots of important messages about the future direction of the university, the vision the president has for this university.”