It's inauguration week; all are invited

Yale President Peter Salovey and his wife, Marta Elisa Moret, spent Monday afternoon, Oct. 7, visiting with faculty and staff in some of the northern parts of campus — beginning a week-long series of engagements across the university that will embrace everyone at Yale, as well as leaders from higher education in the United States and around the world, the extended alumni family, and friends and neighbors in New Haven and beyond.

The week features special events for those who work and teach at Yale, for students, and for distinguished visiting guests; all building to a weekend of events for all, including a campus-wide open house on Saturday, Oct. 12, live viewing of the inauguration ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 13, and a festive block party on Sunday afternoon to complete the celebration.

Monday’s receptions — at Kroon Hall, Greenberg Conference Center, Yale Divinity School, Yale Shared Services at 344 Winchester Ave., and 25 Science Park — were the first of 27 departmental receptions planned for Salovey and Moret this week, with further drop-ins scheduled for Science Hill, the central campus, medical campus, and West Campus, as well as a Thursday late-afternoon reception for all faculty and staff on Hewitt Quadrangle.

“President Salovey’s deep Yale roots — as a graduate student, professor, and department chair; as dean of both the college and the graduate school; and as provost – inspire his passion for the contributions made by all those who teach and work at Yale” says 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.

“He values the excellence of faculty and staff — across all professions, disciplines, and occupations — and so he asked Dan, me, and our committee to begin this presidential inauguration celebration with a focus on the men and women who work at Yale,” she adds.

Harrison notes that faculty scholarship will be showcased in a series of symposia organized for visiting delegates from other universities and learned societies. “We wanted to offer a sampling from several of Yale’s great teachers,” he says, “to illustrate the range of scholarship here, throughout the arts and humanities, science and technology, health, and social sciences.”

Yale is a renowned center for the performing arts — a strength that will also be on display during the inauguration, at the Saturday open house, student celebrations, the formal ceremony on Sunday, and the block party. On Friday, Oct. 11 at 8 p.m., Robert Blocker, the Henry and Lucy Moses Dean of the Yale School of Music, will host a special musical celebration “of all that is Yale.” While the concert is by invitation only, due to limited seating, anyone — on campus and beyond — can watch the concert live on the Yale University Youtube channel, and it will be archived online for viewing later.

Explore and connect at Saturday open house

On Saturday, Oct. 12, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the inauguration celebration will continue with a campus-wide open house, free to all at Yale, in New Haven, and beyond.

“Countless people all across Yale — at the museums, the residential colleges, professional schools, libraries, and elsewhere have really stepped up to make this a terrific day to get a close-up, insider’s view of Yale,” notes Nancy Franco, director of the Yale Visitor Center. “There are things for everyone — lifelong Yalies can explore something new, and infrequent visitors can discover places they might not otherwise see, as well as find places they can come back to again and again.” A full listing of all open house events, tours, and performances can be found online at the Yale Inauguration website, together with a downloadable PDF guide.

The day begins with a “canine kick-off” on the Cross Campus at 10 a.m. that will feature Yale mascot Handsome Dan XVII and other prominent campus dogs, including Portia, the Havanese who shares a home with Salovey and Moret. More than two dozen other four-footed campus residents will join Dan and Portia. Other dogs are cordially invited, too, provided they are well behaved and do not mind being petted and photographed.

The open house will also offer Yale’s first-ever “Instagram Photo Challenge.” Participants can vie for prizes — including meals at downtown restaurants, lunch with President Salovey, or an opportunity to walk Handsome Dan on the sidelines at the Yale Bowl — by posting during the open house photos on Instagram, tagged #InspiringYale. Full details on the contest, including rules and prizes, can be read online here.

Everyone is encouraged to share photos of their favorite places on campus during the day on Facebook and Twitter and other social media channels, as well. The Yale Office of Public Affairs will curate photographs from Instagram during the open house and print selected images for a temporary exhibition on the Cross Campus during the day.

Yale Dining and downtown restaurants are getting into the inauguration spirit, with special offers and items during the weekend. On Saturday, Yale Dining will have limited quantities of a special “bluegrass wrap” inspired by the new Yale president’s musical interests. Featuring a flaxseed wrap, Kentucky BBQ spread, grilled chicken breast, watercress, and pickled red onion, it will be available for purchase at Ground Café in Becton Center, 15 Prospect St., and Durfee’s at 200 Elm St. Numerous New Haven restaurants are offering discounts and specials during Inauguration weekend, Oct. 11–13. A full list and details can be found online at the Yale Inauguration website.

Tradition and innovation mark inauguration ceremony

Salovey will be formally installed as president on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 13, in a ceremony that serves as the cornerstone of the weekend celebration. While drawing on centuries of Yale tradition, the ceremony will have some new touches, including live broadcast on the Yale University YouTube channel to make it accessible to people around the world. The broadcast will begin at 1:30 p.m. EDT.

While seats in Woolsey Hall, the venue for this ceremony as it has been for six other presidential inaugurations, will be limited to dignitaries — including the presidents of other universities, faculty, and other invited guests — all on campus are invited to watch the ceremony on large screens that will be set up for group viewing, beginning at 1:30 p.m., at Battell Chapel, in Burke Auditorium in Kroon Hall, and in front of 43 Hillhouse Ave.

As in centuries past, the inauguration festivities will begin with a procession through the Yale campus. The bells of the Yale Memorial Carillon in Harkness Tower, played by the Yale University Guild of Carilloneurs, will mark the beginning of the ceremonies.

Faculty, including Salovey and visiting delegates from other universities, will process from the Yale Law School at 1:45 p.m., while university officers and trustees will process from Woodbridge Hall. By tradition, visiting delegates march in order of their institutions’ founding dates, and all involved will be dressed in traditional academic gowns and colored hoods. Salovey will wear a distinctive blue gown specially made for him.

The two processions will meet on the Cross Campus, where the senior fellow of the Yale Corporation, Margaret H. Marshall, will greet Salovey, and he will join the ranks of trustees and officers. The full procession — led by marshals and banner bearers, and escorted by the Yale Concert Band — will accompany Salovey to Elm Street, and then proceed left on College Street to Woolsey Hall.

The senior fellow of the corporation will formally install the new president in Woolsey Hall. 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.

Festivities culminate Sunday at Hillhouse Avenue block party

Hillhouse Avenue —reportedly described as the “most beautiful street in America” by Charles Dickens (or, perhaps, Mark Twain) —will also be a very lively spot on Sunday, Oct. 13, when the block between Trumbull and Sachem streets will be closed to traffic, and the avenue becomes the site of a festival of music, dancing, games, and refreshments from 3 to 5 p.m.

The street, known for its majestic trees and stately residential architecture, will be decorated with a balloon arch, an enormous inflatable bulldog, stages, and tents for the occasion. Cotton candy, farm-fresh apples, ice cream, and popcorn will be available for all. Activities and performers scheduled include games, pumpkin decorating, a juggler, clowns, and a stilt-walker.

Open to all, the block party will offer entertainment, including all of Yale’s a cappella singing groups, a salsa band, and the Deadly Gentlemen, a bluegrass band whose members include Greg Liszt, an alumnus both of Yale and of the Professors of Bluegrass, the New Haven band founded in 1990 by Salovey and other members of the Yale community.

Yale Corporation Senior Fellow Margaret H. Marshall summed up expectations for the inauguration thusly: “It will be a wonderful, wonderful weekend.”

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Watch YaleNews ( and Yale social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr) for ongoing coverage of the inauguration, and check the Yale Inauguration website for detailed information and schedules.

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