The Oct. 5 inauguration of Vincent E. Price will not only serve to install Price as the 10th president of Duke University, it will provide faculty, students, staff and alumni an opportunity to showcase the best of the institution, its mission and history.
A steering committee with representatives from across the university community has organized a variety of events as part of the inauguration celebration, from the traditional welcome luncheon for visiting delegates from other universities to a festive community reception following the inauguration.
The day is meant to respect old university traditions while still highlighting innovations that are moving the university forward, said Terry Chambliss, senior director of special events and university ceremonies and co-chair of the inauguration steering committee.
“Inclusion is an important theme of the events,” Chambliss said. “We are inviting everyone in the university community to participate, and we’re creating events that we think all groups – faculty, staff, students and alumni – will want to be part of.”
The inauguration ceremony itself, weather permitting, will occur in the heart of Duke’s West Campus on Abele Quad in front of Duke Chapel.
The event will also highlight the arts. A community gala at the newly named Richard H. Brodhead Center will feature music and other performances from students and faculty members. Chambliss said the reception “will be an opportunity for the entire university to come together in celebration.”
Earlier in the day, a faculty symposium will add scholarly conversation to the ceremonies. Two faculty panels will discuss public intellectual work in an age of division and controversy and what social good universities provide by extending the frontiers of human knowledge.
Price, whose own research focuses on political communication, will be a commentator on the public intellectual panel. The second panel will explore a core challenge he will face in his new role as Duke president. Provost Sally Kornbluth will serve as commentator for this panel.
“The inauguration is a chance for the faculty, students and staff, as well as alumni and board members and others, to come together to celebrate a historic event,” said Judith Kelley, ITT/Terry Sanford Professor of Public Policy and a member of the steering committee.
“We hope that everyone will enjoy the ceremony and the festivities. I also hope it will become a time for Duke faculty to pause and reflect on the enormous progress Duke has made as we are joined by other path-breaking past presidents such as Nan Keohane, and yet at the same time to be inspired to go further together, now with President Price at the helm.”
Throughout the day, campus tours will showcase much of the new construction and initiatives for which Duke has become known. A library exhibit, organized by University Archivist Val Gillespie, will trace Duke’s history and look in depth at some of the milestone moments.
Other events will be geared toward students, including some planned for Wednesday night, said Kushal Kadakia, a rising junior and member of the inauguration planning steering committee.
"Student leaders from across campus are working to plan a series of programs to welcome President Price, showcase student diversity, and commemorate Duke history," Kadakia said.