WMU News

Centennial gala begins with presidential inauguration

Aug. 26, 2003

KALAMAZOO -- Guests from around the state and nation will be on hand to help Western Michigan University officially launch its centennial celebration Wednesday, Sept. 3, with a kickoff gala that will begin with the inauguration of Dr. Judith I. Bailey as the University's seventh president.

The event, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Miller Auditorium, will open with an academic procession and the installation of Bailey, then shift to a centennial program featuring music, video and spoken presentations. Following the gala, a reception in the Grand Tier lobby of Miller will take place along with an ice cream social and additional musical performances on the adjacent Fountain Plaza.

Two of WMU's former presidents, Dr. Diether H. Haenicke and Dr. Elson S. Floyd, plan to be on hand for the evening's activities, which mark the official start of WMU's semester-long observance of its 100th birthday. Establishment of the University was authorized by an act of the Michigan Legislature in May 1903. Kalamazoo was selected as the site for the new Western State Normal School on Aug. 27, 1903.

Birgit M. Klohs, chairperson of the WMU Board of Trustees, will preside over the inauguration, which will include a formal academic procession from the Dalton Center to Miller for the ceremony. Those processing will include WMU faculty, staff and administrators as well as invited guests from a number of other institutions. Political and business leaders from around the state, county and city also will be in attendance.

Following an inaugural address by Bailey, the program will be turned over to Drs. Ed and Ruth Heinig, retired WMU faculty members who have been serving for the past two years as co-chairpersons of the University's Centennial Celebration Committee. They will act as hosts for a program that will range from a short video trip through WMU history to a performance by the Velvelettes, the hit Motown group that originated at WMU.

Admission to the Miller event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required and may be obtained by visiting the Miller Auditorium Ticket Office or calling (269) 387-2300.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 269 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu


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