Inauguration Day

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Earl H. Potter III addresses staff and faculty at the 2008 Convocation.

Earl H. Potter III addresses staff and faculty at the 2008 Convocation.

Earl H. Potter III addresses staff and faculty at the 2008 Convocation. The inaugural theme is  Earl H. Potter III speaks to new students during an orientation event Earl H. Potter III walks through the Southside-University neighborhood 

The inauguration today of President Earl H. Potter III will celebrate St. Cloud State University's impact on Minnesota and the upper Midwest.

A 3 p.m. ceremony at Halenbeck Hall will invest Potter as the 22nd president of the 139-year-old university. View the schedule of events.

Fourteen months into the job, Potter has earned strong reviews from campus and community leaders. Provost Michael Spitzer told a fall convocation audience Aug. 19 that Potter "has demonstrated vision, sensitivity, courage and the ability to bring people together." The St. Cloud Times editorial board has been generous in its praise, most recently commending Potter for an ambitious $28.5 million plan to renovate the National Hockey Center.

The ceremony will include “Verses Left to Write,” a musical composition created by senior Ethan Wittrock and Timothy Tharaldson, a graduate of the Music Department. The song, which honors Potter’s inauguration as the university's 22nd president, will be performed by the Concert Choir, under the direction of Lee Nelson, assistant professor of music. Wittrock is the choir president. Tharaldson is choral director at Rocky Mountain High School, Fort Collins, Colo.

An Inauguration web site explains the purpose of an inauguration, offers sketches of past St. Cloud State inaugurations and details a schedule of events, from the Sept. 13 service plunge into the community to the Sept. 19 post-inauguration dinner at Mi Famiglia Events Center in downtown St. Cloud.

The central event, the inauguration ceremony, is 3 p.m. Sept. 19 in the gymnasium at Halenbeck Hall. Park in N Lot, south of the Education Building, or M Lot, west of Halenbeck Hall. Visit our Campus Map for maps, driving directions and parking assistance. The ceremony is open to the public.

Potter will address an expected audience of more than 500 people. Also speaking will be Constantine"Deno" Curris, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, a national organization of more than 400 public colleges and universities. The program also will include musical performances by university ensembles.

True to his collegial, collaborative, management style, Potter is quick to point out his inauguration is not the coronation of a leader, but a community celebration.

"This celebration is not about me," said Potter. "It is about our university and the difference that we make for our students, for the state of Minnesota and for the world beyond the borders of our state."

The theme of the inauguration is "A Common Goal."

- Jeff Wood

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