Inauguration weekend Oct. 12–13 to build on tradition and unite community

Yale’s long history, current vitality, and future aspirations will all be showcased at the inauguration of Peter Salovey as the university’s 23rd president, with a series of events in the days leading to the formal installation ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 13 at 2 p.m.

The fellows of the Yale Corporation selected Salovey, who began work in Woodbridge Hall on July 1, as Yale’s new president in late November 2012, following extensive consultations with the Yale community. The trustees and Salovey aim to include all of the Yale community, New Haven residents, and friends around the world in the inauguration events this fall.

The festivities include a campus-wide open house on Saturday, Oct 12 for all students, staff, faculty, alumni, and New Haven residents. Sunday’s Inauguration Ceremony will be viewable live online via the Yale YouTube channel. The weekend will conclude with a festive “block party” on Hillhouse Avenue, open to all.

“Yale grew from an institution chartered on Oct. 9, 1701, by a visionary group of men who shared one region, race, and religion,” notes Kimberly Goff-Crews, university secretary and vice president for student life, co-chair of the Inauguration Planning Committee with Daniel Harrison, the Allen Forte Professor of Music Theory. “Their collegiate school has been transformed over the centuries into our global university, comprised of women and men with many aspirations and ideas, representing many experiences and beliefs, hailing from many cultures and backgrounds.

“This inauguration provides an opportunity to celebrate the best of today’s Yale and its traditions, made anew by each successive generation,” she adds.

“President Salovey asked us to conceive a series of events that would highlight the many facets of Yale, its people and their pursuits, and the spirit of inspiration that unites us,” Harrison says. “There is much to celebrate, so the inauguration includes many parts, building to Saturday and Sunday activities accessible by all. We hope everyone in the Yale family will participate and will join us in sharing information about the inaugural celebrations with their colleagues, neighbors, and friends.”

Campus-wide open house on Oct. 12, to focus on “inspiring connections”

In keeping with Salovey’s commitment to make Yale even more unified and accessible, this inauguration will feature an innovation on tradition, with a campus-wide open house that encourages people beyond Yale to connect with the campus and the people at Yale to connect with parts of the university they do not already know.

The day will include a brief gathering at 10 a.m. on the Cross Campus with Handsome Dan XVII, the English bulldog who serves as Yale’s mascot, and other notable campus canines, including Portia, the Havanese dog who shares a home with Salovey and his wife, Marta Moret. Throughout the day, participants will be encouraged to share their favorite places on campus via social media such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Events will be held in various locations from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Everyone is invited to explore the Yale campus in New Haven — from the many parts that are always open to the public to spaces where access is regularly limited. The day will feature open houses in the residential colleges and the Graduate School and events in the professional schools, libraries, museums, and much more. Among other highlights, the Yale Peabody Museum will offer free admission to everyone on Oct. 12, with its annual ¡Fiesta Latina! held in conjunction with the inauguration weekend. Special tours around campus, a showcase of student performing arts groups, and dozens of other activities will be available to all. Watch YaleNews for an upcoming story with more details on the Oct. 12 open house and check the Presidential Inauguration website for a more detailed schedule.

Inauguration ceremonies live online, Hillhouse Avenue block party to follow

(Illustration by Patrick Lynch)

The cornerstone of the weekend is the Inauguration Ceremony at 2 p.m. in Woolsey Hall on Sunday, Oct. 13. The ceremony will keep faith with traditions developed over centuries of Yale history, with some new touches — including the live online on YouTube. While seats in Woolsey Hall must be limited to dignitaries — including the presidents of other universities, faculty, and other invited guests — today’s digital media allows Salovey’s inauguration to be the first viewable in real-time by people anywhere around the world. A number of alumni groups will hold viewing parties beyond New Haven, and there will be large screens set up for viewing on campus at Battell Chapel and on Hillhouse Avenue.

The ceremony begins after a procession through campus of faculty, including Salovey, visiting delegates from other universities, and former and present officers and trustees of Yale, all dressed in traditional academic gowns and colored hoods. Salovey will wear a distinctive blue gown specially made for him. By tradition, visiting delegates march in order of their institutions’ founding dates. The procession will also include banner bearers, marshals, and the Yale Concert Band.

Salovey will be formally installed into office by the senior fellow of the Yale Corporation, Margaret H. Marshall ‘76 J.D., at the ceremony in Woolsey Hall, where he will be presented with symbols of authority, including the President’s Collar, and deliver an Inaugural Address. As in prior inaugurations, the ceremony for Yale’s 23rd president will include an anthem sung by the Yale Glee Club, with a text chosen by him that has been set to music. In another innovation, Salovey has asked Elizabeth Alexander, the Thomas E. Donnelley Professor of African American Studies, to read a poem for the occasion, and colleagues from other universities will offer greetings.

Following the Inauguration Ceremony, everyone is invited to a block party on Hillhouse Avenue, between Trumbull and Sachem streets, 3–5 p.m. in honor of Salovey and Marta Moret. The block party will feature music, food, dancing, and the chance to greet the President and his wife.

Special pre-inauguration events for faculty, staff, and students

In addition to the inauguration weekend activities, there will be a set of other special events for Yale staff and faculty, for undergraduate students, and for graduate and professional students.

Beginning on Monday, Oct. 7, and continuing through the week, Salovey will visit with faculty and staff across the campus at receptions in over two dozen departments, schools, and other workplaces. Information about the visits will be sent directly to faculty and staff in specific units; those in other units are invited and welcome to join a reception convenient to their work site and schedule. On Thursday, Oct. 10, Salovey will welcome all faculty and staff at a late afternoon reception. Invitations and information will be sent directly to faculty and staff.

On the evening of Saturday, Oct. 12, two celebrations for Yale students will be held, one for undergraduate students and another for graduate and professional students. Salovey will attend both parties, and students will receive information and their invitations directly in the coming weeks.

Symposia and concert welcome distinguished guests

The hundreds of university presidents, representatives of learned societies, and other dignitaries who will attend the inauguration will be further welcomed with symposia on Oct. 12-13. These events in campus classrooms and lecture halls will provide an opportunity for the delegates to sample the work of several of Yale’s renowned teachers, drawn from a broad range of scholarship and subject matter. On Friday, Oct. 11, a concert for invited guests hosted by Robert Blocker, the Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of the Yale School of Music, will feature leading performers and ensembles at Yale.  A limited number of seats for the symposia and the concert may become available for members of the Yale community, with information forthcoming via email to community members.

Watch YaleNews and Yale social media sites for ongoing information and coverage, and check the Yale Inauguration website for detailed information and schedules.