Music resonated through Jorgensen Auditorium on Sunday afternoon and continued at the festivities afterwards, as the University of Connecticut celebrated the inauguration of its 14th president, Michael J. Hogan, on April 13.
|Additional photographs and audio from the Inauguration ceremony are available on the Inauguration website.
Hogan’s address stressed the importance of collaboration, focusing on the theme “in unity there is strength.”
“Where we’ve previously seen the pieces, I ask that we see the whole,” he said, “to imagine the possibilities of collaboration, and to turn those possibilities into real strategies, real partnerships, and ultimately real successes in which we can all take pride.”
He urged departments, colleges, and campuses to work together to establish a solid union and build on the academic culture.
“We’ve learned to think too much in terms of my research, my teaching, and my service,” he said. “We can’t move to the next level of prominence if we continue to look inward, in self-driven and competitive ways, for a sense of purpose and value as members of what’s really a university community.”
Research, teaching, and service are not separate activities, Hogan said.
“Having grown up in Iowa, in the heart of the Corn Belt, I find myself falling back on the old milking stool analogy,” he said.
“Like a milking stool, there are three legs to the University’s mission, and if one leg is too short or is taken away, the stool falls over. By enhancing our research mission, we’ll also be strengthening the other two legs of the stool – our teaching and service missions, including our engagement with the community around us.”
He said the University should congratulate itself on its outstanding students. “Today’s students are the best prepared undergraduates in the University’s history,” he said. He noted that they have a first-year retention rate of 93 percent and a six-year graduation rate of 74 percent.
Hogan said UConn students are taught and inspired by faculty who “are among the most accomplished in their fields of study.”
He noted that the University has gotten where it is today “through the tireless commitment and hard work of many faculty and staff. These faculty and staff, many now among our most senior colleagues, stuck it out through thick and thin, through good years and bad, always persevering in their search for excellence.”
He urged the community to build on its success.
“We’ve got great programs, but we can still do better,” Hogan said.
“At the undergraduate level, we need to expand our honors program, create more living
and learning communities, and offer students more opportunities to study abroad and to collaborate with faculty on research projects.”
At the graduate level, he said, “We need to have more programs ranked in the top 25 among all public universities.”
Gov. M. Jodi Rell, who was on the presidential search committee, said Hogan “fell in love with Connecticut almost as quickly as we fell in love with him. It made our job a whole lot easier.”
Ryan McHardy, president of the Undergraduate Student Government, said, “It takes just one meeting with President Hogan to know there is something incredibly special about him.”
Francis Archambault, president of the UConn Alumni Association and emeritus professor of educational psychology, said Hogan is “ideally suited to lead this institution to greater heights.”
John DeWolf, professor of civil and environmental engineering and chair of the Senate Executive Committee, said to Hogan, “You’re one of us.”
Dr. John W. Rowe, chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees, described Hogan as “the right leader at the right time.”
Well-wishers attending the inauguration included members of the University community, state government officials, and dignitaries. The ceremony included the traditional procession of faculty in academic regalia.
Music was performed by UConn’s pep band, wind ensemble, marching band, jazz ensemble, and Voices of Freedom gospel choir.
After the ceremony, the UConn Marching Band and a giant inflatable Husky Dog balloon led the crowd outside to a celebration that included a barbecue, entertainment, and music.
Clowns on stilts, baton twirlers, blue cotton candy, and ice sculptures of Hogan and the Husky Dog added to the festive atmosphere.