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 SRU Prepares to Inaugurate 15th President at Nov. 5 Ceremonies: Dr. Robert Smith 




Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail:


              SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania’s inauguration of Dr. Robert Smith as the university’s 15th president on Nov. 5 will bring dignitaries and delegates from across the state and the nation as part of the daylong celebration and ceremony.

          Leading the 1:30 p.m. ceremony in the University Union will be Dr. Judy Hample, chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, with Robert Marcus, chair of SRU’s Council of Trustees and fellow trustee John Thornburg, representing the university’s governing board.

          The inauguration will follow SRU’s Nov. 4 installation as the newest member of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society, which offered SRU an invitation to become a member following a yearlong evaluation of its programs and educational opportunities.

          Also joining in to bring good wishes from their respective constituents will be Dr. Jace Condravy, professor of English and president of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculty, Dr. Charles Curry, vice president for finance and administrative affairs, representing administrators, Campus Police Lt. Kevin Sharkey, resenting staff, Jude Butch, president of SRU’s Student Government Association and a member of the PSSHE board of governors, representing students, and Dr. Frank Pogue, president of Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, representing the entire higher education community.

         Also joining in to offer welcoming comments will be Alan Offstein, chair of the Slippery Rock University Foundation, Inc., William Kirker, president of the SRU Alumni Association, and Slippery Rock Mayor Ken Harris. Wilma Cavill, assistant professor of health and safety, will serve as grand marshal, and Dr. William Williams, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, will serve as master of ceremonies for the event.

              Nearly 200 students, including nearly 50 from international counties, will join in the ceremony, which will includedelegates representing nearly 125 higher education institutions -- University of Bologna, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers College, College of William and Mary, University of Pittsburgh, University of Baghdad, University of Pune, George Mason University, Georgetown University, University of North Carolina, New York University, Boston University, Fordham University, Earlham University and the president’s alma maters, among others.

         Dr. Colleen Neubert, assistant professor of music, will be the soloist with the invocation and benediction delivered by Max Speight and Rev. James Armstrong.

          The day opens at 9:30 a.m. with the arrival of delegates followed by an invited luncheon and self-guided walking and van tours of campus. A processional lineup is planned for 12:30 p.m. that will take inauguration attendees along the newly completed pedestrian walkway near North Hall across campus to the University Union. Following the ceremony, a campus reception open to the entire university community, will be held in Boozel Dining Hall.   

          Smith was appointed to the post by the state system board of governors in May following a nationwide search. He joined the university as provost in 1999 and was named interim president in 2002. Prior to coming to SRU, Smith was dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tennessee at Martin for 12 years and had served 19 years as a member of the Wichita State University faculty. He has taught at Temple University and Ohio University and coached debate at Princeton University.


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