The installation of a chancellor is an important event in the life of a university. It is a moment of reflection and opportunity. With the formal charging of a new institutional leader by the President of the University of North Carolina, the UNC Board of Governors and the UNCW Board of Trustees, a new era is charted in the context of prevailing opportunities and challenges. The newly sworn chancellor draws upon the richness of traditions, past successes of the institution and the strength and energy of generations of faculty, staff, students and alumni. The new chancellor pledges to preserve the best of the values and traditions of the academy while developing new strategies to address current challenges, to accept risks and to pursue opportunities. Thus, each chancellor must be of two minds, embracing both tradition and innovation.
The installation ceremony symbolizes the profound responsibility of faculty who are entrusted by the people of the state of North Carolina to educate and develop the minds and lives of others. While the ceremony and processions are marked by artifacts, pageantry and inspiring speeches, the university community is acutely aware of its solemn responsibility to preserve access and opportunity to the academy for the generations who will follow. The mace, regalia, university seal and oath of office speak to past and future responsibilities of a university dedicated to being a place free from bias and bigotry; a place that calls upon the best in each of us to advance knowledge, preserve our natural treasures and elevate humanity. The university is uniquely positioned to embrace diversity, bring together the voices of consensus and decent dissent in a forum of mutual regard and civility.
At the core of the university’s identity and mission is the creation and fostering of a collective body, relentlessly committed to the pursuit and application of knowledge. The Installation of a chancellor is a celebration of creative, critical and reflective thinking; lifelong learning; excellence in teaching; opportunities for student engagement in significant faculty research and discovery; diversity; sound environmental stewardship and the development of citizen leaders. The installation is a time, much like convocation at the beginning of the academic year and graduation at the end of each academic year, to celebrate and to proclaim these achievements individually and collectively. To renew and refresh our commitment to the values they exemplify.