History will be made today.
Steven Currall will be officially sworn in as USF’s seventh president during his inauguration ceremony in the Yuengling Center at 2 p.m.
The investiture ceremony will consist of a formal installation, where Currall will be presented with the symbolic presidential chain of office by Board of Trustees Chair Jordan Zimmerman.
The chain includes engravings of the university’s former presidents and their terms in office with a medallion of the university seal.
Currall’s goals and visions for the university’s success will be outlined in his inaugural address.
In 2001, when former President Judy Genshaft took office, her 30-minute inauguration speech outlined her many goals and aspirations for the university, including leading USF to achieve preeminence. Now, almost two decades after her address, the university has been granted that status.
While the Yuengling Center has a capacity to hold up to 10,411 people, about 791 people — including students, faculty, staff and the general public — have RSVP’d to attend the ceremony, according to USF spokesperson Althea Paul.
Genshaft’s inauguration drew an audience of about 1,200.
About 206 faculty and administrators will participate as processional participants and will be dressed in traditional academic regalia.
The ceremony will feature speakers who have had an impact in shaping the new president’s career, including Malcolm Grant, former president and provost of the University College London, where Currall has previously held leadership roles. During the ceremony, Grant will introduce the new president to the USF community.
A campus and community inauguration reception will be held at 4 p.m., following the inauguration ceremony, at the Muma College of Business Atrium.
Although Currall took office on July 1, inauguration ceremonies are usually scheduled months after a president assumes office. The reason behind the tradition is to allow the new president to tackle existing university initiatives and to ease into their new role.
Among the guest list, more than 150 delegates from colleges and universities around the world, including Maria Dixon Hall from the Southern Methodist University and Jack M. Gill from the Gill Foundation of Texas, will attend the ceremony. The investiture ceremony will be livestreamed on USF’s website.
The academic ceremonial mace, a ceremonial staff used during graduation commencements by the president of the faculty senate, will also be featured during today’s ceremonies.
The mace symbolizes the authority of the chief executive officer for the university. A gold pine cone at its top is a representation of USF’s growth and continuity, and eight semicircles along the staff stand for USF’s eight colleges. When not in use, the mace is displayed inside a case in the Office of the President.
Dressed in the president’s gown — four bars on the sleeve — and the presidential chain around his neck, Currall will leave center stage as USF’s seventh president.