Pomp and circumstance, talks and music, and events on Northwestern’s Evanston and Chicago campuses will highlight the inauguration of Morton Schapiro as the 16th president of the university this fall.
Sarah Pearson, vice president for alumni relations and development, who heads the inauguration planning committee, says, “Our goal is to involve many people on all our campuses — Evanston, Chicago and Doha — either in person or through live streaming of events on the Web.”
The inauguration ceremony is tentatively scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9, on Deering Meadow in the heart of the Evanston campus.
In addition to the formal inauguration of President Schapiro and remarks by him, the ceremony will include a speech by Pulitzer-prize winner Thomas L. Friedman, a columnist for The New York Times.
Earlier that day, President Schapiro and Friedman will participate in a symposium examining “Big Ideas and Challenges,” including the current economics of higher education.
Although details remain to be worked out, the inauguration committee plans to have several major events in which all members of the Northwestern community are invited to share in the celebration. On the Chicago campus, a luncheon is tentatively planned for Wednesday, Oct. 7. An all-campus reception will follow the inauguration ceremony on the Evanston campus on Oct. 9.
Working in partnership with A&O, an undergraduate student organization, the inauguration planning group hopes to bring a major music performer or band for a concert the evening of Friday, Oct. 9.
“We have several big-name acts in mind already, so we’ll start looking at schedules and availabilities to try to line something up and get it confirmed as soon as possible,” said Adam Pumm, a member of the A&O planning board.
The celebratory activities will close with a pregame tailgate and a home football game against Miami (Ohio) on Saturday, Oct. 10.
“Our hope is that many students, faculty and staff will join us at one or more of these events, as well as the inauguration ceremony,” Pearson said.
For those who are unable to make it to the events, plans call for several of them to be webcast live. Also tentatively scheduled is a “LiveWired” event, in which President Schapiro would participate in an online conversation with students.
“Clearly, there are many, many details to be worked out and a great deal of logistical planning to be done, but the committee is off to a good start,” Pearson said. “Now we need people to hold the dates of Oct. 7 to 10 on their calendars and keep their fingers crossed for good weather!”