Formal inauguration of President David M. Dooley to usher in new era for URI

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For the first time in more than 35 years, a formal inauguration ceremony will be held at the University of Rhode Island, on Thursday, April 8, to install David M. Dooley as the 11th president of Rhode Island’s flagship public institution of research and higher learning.

A seminal event in the life of a university, the inauguration will salute the University’s history and provide the opportunity for President Dooley to share his vision for the institution. The installation ceremony will be held at the Thomas M. Ryan Center, 1 Lincoln Almond Plaza, on the Kingston Campus at 2 p.m. Doors will open at 1 p.m. and the entire event will be livecast at URI Live!.

The University community including students, faculty, staff, and alumni, academic leaders from other academic institutions nationwide, political leaders, and the general public are invited to witness and enjoy this rare occasion. Outside of the annual commencement ceremony, this is expected to be the largest University community gathering in recent decades.

Like commencement, the inauguration ceremony will be filled with rich academic pageantry, symbols and long-standing traditions. Participants in the inauguration procession and installation ceremony, including University faculty and visiting scholars, will wear full academic regalia. Frank Caprio, chair of the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education, will formally install Dooley. Gov. Donald Carcieri will deliver greetings from the State of Rhode Island, and Thomas M. Ryan, chairman and CEO of CVS/Caremark Corp., who had chaired the University’s presidential search committee, will offer remarks for the community.

President Dooley has invited internationally known theologian Greg Boyd to speak at the inauguration ceremony. Dooley said special remarks from Boyd will address the inaugural theme, “Creating the Future: The Role of the University in Transforming the World,” from a unique perspective and will provide the community with a fresh view for our shared future. Rev. Lynn Baker-Dooley will introduce Boyd.

Known for his dynamic, powerful speaking style and thought-provoking approaches to some of the most profound challenges we face, Boyd is a recognized theologian, preacher, teacher and author. He is the founder and senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church in St. Paul, Minn. Boyd has authored or co-authored 18 books and numerous academic articles, including his best-selling and award-winning Letters From a Skeptic.

Boyd received his doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary, his master of divinity from Yale Divinity School, and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. He was a professor of theology for 16 years at Bethel University, St. Paul, Minn. President Dooley’s wife and their two children, Christopher and Samantha, are all Bethel University graduates.

Poet Peter Covino, URI assistant professor of English, will read a poem he composed for the occasion. An inaugural musical arrangement, entitled “Around the World in Eight Minutes,” composed by Assistant Professor of Music Eliane Aberdam, will be premiered by members of the URI Inaugural Ensemble, under the direction of Music Professor Ann Danis. Brooke Bovard, a 2009 graduate, will sing the national anthem. Immediately following the ceremony, a campus community celebration will be held in Keaney Gymnasium and there will be a jazz band concert/dance later that evening.

On April 7, the day before the formal ceremony, aspects of the inaugural theme will be explored in a series of panel discussions and other academic events to be held at URI’s campuses in Providence, Narragansett and Kingston. These events will include a poster session to showcase student research and/or creative projects, an art exhibit and additional lectures. Details for all of these events are on the President’s Inauguration website.

An inauguration committee of University administrators, faculty, staff, students and other members of the University family developed the inaugural program.

The University has solicited private donations from individuals, organizations, and corporations to pay for the expenses associated with the inauguration.

Watch the Inaugural Events on URI Live!