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President Ann Weaver Hart was officially installed as Temple’s ninth president today.
More than 130 delegates from universities, academic societies and professional organizations throughout the country attended the inauguration in the Liacouras Center.
In her remarks, Temple’s first woman president announced that Dr. Lisa Staiano-Coico will become Temple’s new provost July 1. Staiano-Coico is the Dean of the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University. The announcement comes six months after the search for a new provost began.
Temple is the first college in Philadelphia to have women in the president and provost positions simultaneously, said Daniel H. Polett, chair of the Board of Trustees.
Hart outlined the goals she hopes to accomplish throughout her presidency and asked the Temple community “to be more active partners in shaping Temple’s future.”
Hart also discussed Temple’s actions to create an environmentally responsible campus.
“Temple will be a full partner in developing innovative ways to practice and demonstrate environmental citizenship,” she said.
Hart also appealed to Temple’s trustees, neighbors, alumni and friends to “do more” through philanthropy. Temple cannot continuously rely on state funding and tuition, mostly because 76 percent of undergraduates “demonstrate serious financial need in order to pay that tuition,” she said. “This is a challenge, particularly since Temple does not enjoy the large endowment incomes of other institutions, nor their long traditions of private giving by alumni and friends,” she said. “We must create that tradition now.”
To encourage students to study abroad, Hart announced that she and her husband will start a fund through the Office of International Programs to pay for the passports of first-time buyers.
“I am so convinced that this experience is essential to your education that my husband Randy and I will pay your passport fee,” she said.
The ceremony featured many guest speakers representing the university’s different schools and departments. Polett, chairman of the Board of Trustees, officially began the inauguration.
“Under her leadership, I am confident Temple will continue to thrive as one of the leading universities in the nation,” Polett said. “We look forward to continuing the achievements of this university … under the leadership of President Hart.”
Temple alumna and writer Sonia Sanchez, a former English professor, recited her poem, “For Interdependence Day”. Temple Student Government Vice President of Academic Affairs Priya Patel and graduate student Ruth Marie Garcia spoke on behalf of the student body.
“We look forward to working with you as you lead this already-great institution to even greater heights,” Patel said to Hart.
Dr. Jane Evans, president of the Faculty Senate, said Hart’s experiences in other leadership positions has given her a sensitivity to diversity and the “ability to establish a sense of community” among the staff.
Enthusiastic staff members at Temple, represented by Facilities Management Supervisor Rodney Timmons, thanked Hart for creating an “atmosphere of excellence.”
“We the staff welcome you, we the staff encourage you and we the staff applaud you,” Timmons said.
Hart also received warm welcomes and congratulations in the form of videos from student and faculty from Temple’s international programs in London, Rome and Tokyo.
As part of the inauguration process, Hart received the original charter of the university. Chancellor Peter J. Liacouras, former president of Temple, passed the mace – a ceremonial staff – to Hart. She also received a specially-designed medallion which represents Temple “in its entirety,” Polett said.
Former President Marvin Wachman was scheduled to take part in the investiture, but could not travel due to health reasons, said Director of Communications Ray Betzner.
The inauguration celebration continues tomorrow with “Great Universities, Great Cities: A Day of Conversation at Temple University.” A day of poetry, art and educational exhibits and discussions will be held throughout campus.
Hart received multiple standing ovations throughout the ceremony. She stressed the importance of providing educational access to students around the world and a sense of community to the surrounding neighborhoods.
“Temple is Philadelphia’s university. Temple is the world’s university,” she said. “Our hearts as well as our heads will be dedicated to its future.”
Chris Stover can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.