The inauguration of the seventh president of East Central University, Dr. Richard S. Rafes, will be held at 2 p.m. Sept. 28 [FRIDAY] in ECU's Kerr Activities Center. Rafes has been ECU's president since July 1, 2006.
The community is invited to attend the ceremony with ECU faculty, staff and students. A reception will follow at 4 p.m. in the University Center.
The final inaugural event will be a light-hearted revue, Tiger Tales, beginning at 6 p.m. in the Dorothy Summers Theatre. The show will celebrate the university's history by highlighting its seven presidents and presenting entertainment that would have been typical during each presidency.
Tickets for the revue are $30 and are available in advance by calling Buffy Lovelis in the University Advancement Office at 580-559-5253.
The 2 p.m. ceremony will begin with a traditional bagpipe march written and performed by Dr. Mark Hollingsworth, chair of ECU’s department of music. "The Richard Rafes Inaugural March" will mark the entrance of the president and dignitaries who will be on the stage.
"This follows a tradition for bagpipes to play during a ceremony, usually during a military situation," Hollingsworth said. "This piece is a very traditional style of march used for monumental occasions."
The ECU Wind Ensemble, under the direction of band director Allen Correll, will perform during the procession of faculty members and delegates wearing their academic regalia and international students carrying the flags of their countries.
Members of the Oklahoma Army National Guard's GOLD Program at ECU will present the colors, and Dr. Duane C. Anderson, provost and vice president for academic affairs, will preside over the ceremony.
An a cappella work, "For the Love of Knowledge," was composed especially for the inauguration by W.T. Skye Garcia, ECU instructor of music. Dr. Steve Walker, professor of music, will direct the combined University Chorale and University Chorus in the piece which is based on reverence, inspiration, creativity, discovery and guidance for the love of knowledge.
Belva Howard, chair of the Board of Regents of the Regional University System of Oklahoma, will deliver the charge of leadership and present the university medallion to Rafes. Regent Connie Reilly will make the presentation of the university mace to Rafes.
The medallion and mace are ceremonial symbols of leadership and responsibility used in the pomp and circumstance of academic ceremonies and are entrusted to the president as part of the formal investiture of the office.
ECU's custom-designed symbols were commissioned for and unveiled at the inauguration of Dr. Bill S. Cole on Sept. 8, 1990.
Following an inaugural address by Rafes, the Chickasaw Nation Princesses will sign the Lord's Prayer.
The University Chorus and Chorale will sing ECU's alma mater to end the ceremony.
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