Communitywide event set to inaugurate Montgomery as WMU president

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The formal installation of Dr. Edward Montgomery as the ninth president of Western Michigan University will take place during a communitywide celebration slated for Friday, Sept. 15.

"Harnessing the power of partnership, embracing the strength in diversity" is the theme of inaugural activities that will include an 11 a.m. ceremony in Miller Auditorium to formally mark the beginning of both the Montgomery presidency and the next chapter in the community-University partnership. The ceremony will be followed by a picnic on the adjacent Fountain Plaza. The timing of the free public event was set to make it part of WMU's annual CommUniverCity weekend that has traditionally focused on the ties between the University and its home community.

Dr. Edward Montgomery, WMU's ninth president, will be inaugurated Friday, Sept. 15.

Academic delegates from around the nation are expected to join the Montgomery extended family, community civic and business leaders, and WMU students, faculty and staff to officially mark the transition of power to a new president. Following an informal procession of faculty and delegates, the occasion will be marked by brief speeches, video presentations and musical segments featuring ensembles from the University's celebrated School of Music.

WMU Trustee Kenneth V. Miller will act as emcee for the ceremony. Jeffrey A. Rinvelt, chair of the WMU Board of Trustees will formally install the new president during the ceremony. Also participating in the transfer of leadership will be Dr. John M. Dunn, who stepped down from the presidency July 31 to become president emeritus.  Montgomery is expected to deliver his inaugural address after that part of the ceremony.

Also participating in the inaugural ceremony that day will be:

  • U.S. Rep. Fred Upton
  • Kalamazoo Mayor Bobby J. Hopewell
  • Trustee James B. Bolger, vice chair of the WMU Board of Trustees
  • Mark Jackson, president of the WMU Alumni Association
  • Dr. Suzan F. Ayers, president of the Faculty Senate
  • Lynda L. Hunt, president of the Administrative Professional Association
  • Shannon A. Rininger, president of the WMU Professional Support Staff Organization
  • Dennis L. Moore, president of Local 1668 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
  • Chiante N. Lymon, president of the Western Student Association
  • Amaury Moquete Pineda, president of the Graduate Student Association

Following the ceremony in Miller, the celebration will move outside onto the Fountain Plaza for a picnic luncheon. That event is designed to serve as many as 1,500 people. The rain location for the event is WMU's Bernhard Center.

CommUniverCity weekend events will also include a Saturday, Sept. 16, afternoon of tailgating as well as football at 7 p.m. under the lights in Waldo Stadium vs. the University of Idaho. This will be the 26th consecutive year for the popular fall celebration. The corporate, pre-game tailgate on Hyames Field is by invitation only. Community tailgating also will take place during the afternoon in designated lots around Waldo Stadium.

Montgomery, a labor economist, was selected as WMU president in April by the WMU Board of Trustees and began his tenure on Aug. 1. He previously had been the dean of the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and earlier had held positions in both the Clinton and Obama administrations.

For more information about Montgomery's background and selection, inauguration traditions, former WMU leaders and additional inauguration details, visit wmich.edu/inauguration.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.