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Dr. Julie E. Wollman inaugurated Friday as Edinboro University’s 17th president

‘Excellence. Optimism. Leadership.’

11/09/2012

During a formal investiture ceremony Friday afternoon, Dr. Julie E. Wollman was inaugurated as Edinboro University’s 17th President and the first woman to lead the University.

With family members and friends in attendance, President Wollman was inaugurated before a large audience that included administrators, faculty, staff, students, college and university presidents, elected representatives and officials of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, all gathered in historic Louis C. Cole Auditorium-Memorial Hall for the investiture ceremony.  

Punctuated by traditions dating back through a century and a half of Edinboro’s storied history, the ceremony capped a week of inauguration events reflecting upon the theme of “Excellence. Optimism. Leadership” embodied in the people and programs of the University. The inauguration came a month before the 155th anniversary of the opening of Edinboro Academy – historic forerunner to the University – in December 1857.

“It is truly humbling to be entrusted with the responsibility and to be granted the opportunity to serve with you to shape the brightest possible future for Edinboro University,” President Wollman began her inaugural address. “And I respectfully pledge to do all in my power to justify that trust and to honor your support for the University and for me as a steward of its future.”

Her speech focused on the success of three individual Edinboro students, underscoring each of the three components – excellence, optimism and leadership – of her inaugural theme.

“I chose these three concepts as my theme because I think there is value in lifting up, celebrating, and recommitting to what makes Edinboro special and what will carry us into the future. Remember, it was excellence, optimism and leadership that led to the founding of Edinboro Academy in 1857, and that has shaped our rich history and brought us to where we are today.

“But my focus will not be on the University as an institution. Rather, I want to focus on our students. Our students get it. They are here to be transformed into better people than they think they can be when they come to us. And they are open to the possibilities and optimistic that the transformation will occur. Their stories exemplify what is best and most distinctive about Edinboro University.”

Wollman said excellence, optimism and leadership are “qualities that characterize our students and qualities that are hallmarks of your University.”

The investiture ceremony, presided over by Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael J. Hannan, held much in common with the University’s twice-annual Commencement exercises in terms of traditional academic pageantry.

Leading the academic procession as the inauguration’s Mace Bearer and representing his faculty colleagues by carrying the Ceremonial Mace was Dr. Roy Shinn. The chair of the Speech, Language and Hearing Department, Professor Shinn’s distinction as Mace Bearer is symbolic of the central role which faculty play in the academic and personal development of Edinboro’s students.

The actual investiture took place after welcoming remarks from faculty, staff and student leaders, and an introduction of the new president by her husband, Dr. Dan L. King, Executive Director of the American Association of University Administrators.

John E. Horan, Chairman of Edinboro University’s Council of Trustees, formally presented Dr. Wollman to Dr. John C. Cavanaugh, Chancellor of the state system. Cavanaugh formally invested Edinboro’s 17th President. Following investiture, Guido M. Pichini, Chair of PASSHE’s Board of Governors, administered to Dr. Wollman the oath of office.

Because of President Wollman’s dedication to further enhancing the excellence of the region’s largest and most comprehensive institution of higher education, Inauguration Week featured more than two dozen activities centered on students and faculty.

Co-chaired by Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Hannan and Vice President for Advancement, Communications and Marketing Tina Mengine, the Presidential Inauguration Committee – composed faculty and staff – was actively engaged for several months to ensure the inauguration’s success.

Following Friday’s formal ceremony, an Inauguration Reception was held at the Crawford Center. An Inauguration Celebration will take place tonight at the Erie Art Museum. 

Dr. Wollman became Edinboro University’s 17th President on June 1, 2012, bringing to Edinboro a successful background in higher education academics and administration. She came to Edinboro from Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts, where she served as vice president for Academic Affairs for four years. Dr. Wollman was appointed to lead Edinboro University at the conclusion of a national search in December 2011. She succeeded Dr. James Moran, who served as interim president since June 2011. President Wollman’s complete biography can be found on Edinboro University’s website at www.edinboro.edu.