Presidential installation is focus of Inauguration Week

  • Friday, April 12, 2013

    PRINCESS ANNE, MD. - (April 12, 2013) - The April 19th  presidential installation of Dr. Juliette B. Bell will write another important chapter in the University of Maryland Eastern Shore's storied 126-year history.

    Presidential medallion - 2013The 1 p.m. event at the Ella Fitzgerald Center for the Performing Arts combines traditions of academe that can be traced back hundreds of years along with ceremonial wrinkles distinctive or new to UMES.

    Representatives from some 30 colleges and universities will join UMES faculty and administrators in formal regalia as they do for commencement exercises on their respective campuses. Along with 70 student delegates, invited guests and UMES counterparts will gather in Hazel Hall and the Student Development Center before marching in a procession to the 1,200-seat Fitzgerald Center, joining Bell and her platform party for a ceremony expected to last two hours.

    Bell will deliver an address in which she is expected to reflect on what she has learned during her first nine months as UMES' top administrator as well as lay the foundation for her presidency.

    Among her first priorities is leading a campaign to garner support for building a new library, a project she says is crucial to accomplishing much of what she and state leaders expect from the university.

     Bell also will be presented with a personalized medallion custom-made for the occasion. Among its features are 14 metallic cameos that adorn the necklace - seven on each side and etched with the names of her predecessors, from Benjamin O. Bird to Mortimer H. Neufville.

    A mid-afternoon reception on the flag mall adjacent to the Fitzgerald and Henson centers follows the installation ceremony.

    Many of the installation participants will trade their academic regalia for formal wear Friday evening when students and faculty from the Hotel Restaurant Management program stage the Diamond Jubilee Presidential Scholarship Ball, a fund-raiser that doubles as an experiential learning opportunity.  

    While the presidential installation ceremony is the focus of Inauguration Week, other activities that normally occur each spring will be held as well. They include the annual Roger Blunt construction management guest lecture, the 4th annual graduate research day and the 15th annual community Health and Wellness Fair, the 2013 edition named in honor of Dr. Bell's late parents.

    The concluding event on Saturday, April 20, is a party dubbed "The Finale" featuring the local musical group, On The Edge, that will entertain in the Student Services Center ballroom. A previously scheduled concert that evening was cancelled by the performers.

    Bill Robinson, director, UMES public relations, (410) 621-2355