SRU’s seventeen-day celebration to usher in inauguration of Behre


President Behre at the podium

The formal inauguration and investiture ceremony for Slippery Rock University President William J. Behre will be at 11 a.m., Nov. 9 in Morrow Field House. The public is invited.

Oct. 12, 2018

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University will spend 17 days, Nov. 1-17, "celebrating the University and the inauguration of William J. Behre as the 17th president."

The formal inauguration and investiture ceremony will be at 11 a.m., Nov. 9 in Morrow Field House. The public is invited.

Behre was selected to lead the nearly 9,000-student University by Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education board of governors March 14 following a nationwide search. He assumed his presidential duties July 1.

The former provost at Georgian Court University, Behre has nearly 25 years experience in higher education as an educator, researcher, faculty leader and administrator. Prior to joining SRU he had served as GCU's chief academic officer for four years.

As provost at GCU, a small, private university in Lakewood, N.J., Behre worked closely with deans, department chairs and the president's cabinet. He was responsible for academic program development and review; research and sponsored projects; faculty development; overseeing student life, student success, retention, career services, continuing education, global education and intercollegiate athletics.

A cross-section of University staff and faculty are serving as the planning committee for the inaugural event.

"Presidential inaugurals are milestone events in the history of the University and provide an excellent opportunity for it to celebrate its past, present and future," said Tina Moser, SRU chief of staff and co-chair of the committee.

"During our 17-days of celebration we'll bring together SRU's global community - trustees, faculty, students, staff, alumni, donors and friends - as well as distinguished visitors to celebrate the academy, the arts, athletics and our commitment to public engagement. Through a myriad of activities, we'll introduce President Behre to our stakeholders and help launch a new era of leadership for SRU," said Rita Abent, executive director for University Communication and Public Affairs and co-chair of the committee.

Inaugural activities kick off at 12:30 p.m., Nov. 1 with the Slippery Rock Student Government Association's "Paws for a Cause" event to benefit the Butler County Humane Society. "SGA is honored to be kicking off the inaugural celebration," said Dallas Kline, SGA president. "We chose to do "Paws for a Cause," for a couple of reasons. First, it represents a core value of SRU, public service, and second, it honors a cause close to the Behre's hearts. Both their dogs, Oscar and Sadie, are rescue dogs. We're asking everyone to join us in the Quad from 12:30-4 p.m. where we will be collecting donations of items needed by the humane society and well as distributing informational materials. At 3 p.m. we invite people to bring their 'pets with paws' and join us for a Presidential Pet Parade. Dressing your pet in green and white is encouraged, but optional." A complete "wish list" of items needed at the BCHS can be viewed by clicking here.

The Performing Arts take center stage at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 2 with a performance from Martini Pop in the University Union. With a show that combines "the personality of the Rat Pack, the harmony of Manhattan Transfer and the quirky arrangements of Postmodern Jukebox to bring about an unforgettable musical experience," the unique quartet performs swing versions of modern Top 40 hits including songs by Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Adele, Maroon Five, Jason Mraz, Justin Timberlake, P!nk and Taylor Swift with classics from Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin tossed in for good measure. General admission tickets for the performance are $22 for adults; $20 for seniors (62 and older); $18 for youth (17 and younger); and $8 for SRU students.

A number of home athletic contests are on the slate during the 17-day celebration, including football games against Gannon, 1 p.m., Nov. 3 and Bloomsburg, 1 p.m., Nov. 10; volleyball versus Mercyhurst, 1 p.m., Nov. 3; and field hockey against Bloomsburg, 1 p.m., Nov. 4 and Millersville, 3 p.m., Nov. 9.

The Student Veterans Association at SRU and the Office of Inclusive Excellence will host a breakfast program to honor veterans Nov. 9 at 8 a.m. in the Smith Student Center Ballroom. The program is free and open to the public.

Inaugural day activities begin at 8:30 a.m., Nov. 9, with Grand March participants assembling in Patterson Hall, the Alumni House and the Smith Student Center before processing to Morrow Field House for the 11 a.m. investiture. A free campuswide reception will follow in the GrassTex area of the field house.

The processional will include delegates and representatives from higher education institutions and professional societies, trustees, distinguished guests, faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members.

During the ceremony, colleagues from other universities will bring greetings. Symbols of authority will be presented to Behre and he will be formally installed into office. The President will offer his inaugural address.

Philip Way, SRU provost and vice president for academic affairs, will serve as the ceremony's presiding officer. Jeff Smith, chair of the SRU Council of Trustees will present Behre to Daniel Greenstein, chancellor of Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education, for investiture, and Cynthia Shapira, chair of the board of governors, will administer the oath of office.

The 17-day inauguration celebration concludes Nov. 17 with "A Swingin' Holiday Affair," at 7:30 p.m. in the Smith Student Center Ballroom. The show stars Steve Lippia and features the SRU Jazz Ensemble. They'll perform a set list of the most well-known and beloved songs recorded or performed by Frank Sinatra. General admission tickets for the performance are $22 for adults; $20 for seniors (62 and older); $18 for youth (17 and younger); and $8 for SRU students.

A complete list of the 17-days of celebration events can be found on the University's Presidential Inaugural web page at

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 |