Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012

University of New Orleans Celebrates
Investiture of President Peter J. Fos

Investiture Peter J FosThe University of New Orleans Week of Excellence concluded with a grand finale on Monday, as UNO students faculty and staff celebrated the formal investiture of UNO President Peter J. Fos.

The University of New Orleans Week of Excellence concluded with a grand finale on Monday, as UNO students faculty and staff celebrated the formal investiture of UNO President Peter J. Fos.

Heralding a new era at the University, the 2 p.m. event in the University Center Ballroom was a carefully choreographed tribute to Fos, a UNO graduate and New Orleans native. Under the moniker "Setting a Course for the Future," the formal event officially installed Fos as the University's sixth leader and first president. The event included opening and closing performances by the UNO Wind Ensemble, a procession of faculty dressed in robes of their alma maters, the carrying of the University mace by Senate Faculty President Dinah M. Payne and an invocation led by Father Paul Desrosiers, chaplin of the University of New Orleans Newman Center. The pastor asked that the University's new president be blessed during his leadership with wisdom and sensitivity.

Greeting Fos at the podium were New Orleans Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu, U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-La.), Louisiana State Senator Edwin Murray (Dist. 4), La. State Rep. Jared Brossett (Dist. 97), Charlotte Bollinger, vice chair of the Louisiana Board of Regents, Wayne Parker, chair of the Louisiana System of Board of Supervisors, Payne, Carol Lunn on behalf of the UNO Staff Council, Courtney Brehm and of the UNO Ambassadors and Laura Siu, president of the UNO Student Government. On behalf of their respective constitutuencies, they praised the University president and welcomed his leadership.

Sending good wishes were U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.), U.S. Representative Cedric Richmond (Dist.2, La.). and a host of University presidents from across the nation.

Joining Fos on stage were leaders of the University's administration and choice leaders with whom he has previously worked.

The event culminated in Fos's acceptance of the University medallion, engraved with his name and those of previous University leaders.

Despite formality and new and old university traditions, the ceremony drew some ribbing and much laughter. Bollinger happily told the audience they were fortunate to led by "Fos the Boss." Mayor Landrieu said he was glad to discover that in his early career Fos had been a dentist – no doubt, the mayor said, the president will be faced with trips to the legislature to pull teeth.

Words of wisdom came from University of Southern Mississippi President Aubrey Lucas.

"Effective presidents are not born. They are made. It is up to you, dear friends, the faculty, staff, students, alums, board of trustees and others, it is up to you to nurture this good man so that he becomes the kind of president that this university needs and that this university deserves," he said. "The success of this university is inextricably tied to the success of your president. Make him an effective president and the entire university will benefit."

Lucas told faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters present to help guide the president: helping him to define the issues and solve problems of the day and issuing "gentle" criticism.

Fos took the podium with humility, gratefulness, energy and pride.

"This is not a new chapter of the University of New Orleans, it's a new edition," the new University president said.

Fos said that the University will draw on past strengths and traditions to create the university of the future.


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