DANVILLE, Ky., Oct. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Dr.
Milton C. Moreland was inaugurated
as the 21st president of Centre College
on Oct. 14 in an afternoon event held
in Newlin Hall of the Norton Center for the Arts that focused on
the theme, "Building a Community of Inclusive Excellence."
The much-anticipated ceremony to install President Moreland, who
took office on July 1, 2020, had been
postponed due to safety issues surrounding COVID-19 until the
College deemed that an in-person event could take place without
risk to anyone's health.
More than 1,200 guests were in attendance, including 100 alumni
representatives and institutional delegates from colleges and
universities across the country, who joined with trustees and
campus community members.
In his inaugural address, Moreland stated, "Our community
flourishes when we are agile, open to new ideas, engage with people
who have different identities and pursue our curiosities. That is
Centre's foundation for building an inclusive community."
Looking ahead to the aspirations he hopes to achieve during his
tenure, Moreland focused on a number of initiatives intended to
build on the College's existing strengths.
"Driven by our belief that the freedom and open exchange of
ideas promotes a more just and inclusive society," he said, "we
will expand opportunities at this college for all of our students
to be involved in applying their knowledge through experiential
learning, community engagement, internships, and living and working
in even more study abroad and study away locations as they prepare
for their future careers."
This unique and impactful form of living and learning will have
a clear outcome, he said.
"Centre will be increasingly known for our experiential learning
and co-curricular programming that provides a global perspective,
enhances our students' communications skills, refines their
leadership abilities, and prepares them for a lifetime of
meaningful work and civic impact."
A new vision for a new era
Mark Nunnelly '80, chair of the
Centre College Board of Trustees,
presided over the ceremony that included Kentucky Lt. Gov.
Jacqueline Coleman '04 and Dr.
Marjorie Hass, president of the
Council of Independent Colleges.
"This day of celebration is an opportunity to mark a new vision
for a new era," said Student Government Association President
Sarah Ali '22 in her opening
invocation. She also offered a prayer that Moreland and his wife,
Dina, would "foster a commitment to intercultural sensitivity and
equity, to academic excellence and to civic empowerment."
In his welcoming remarks, Board Chair Nunnelly told the audience
that "Milton Moreland is the right
person at the right time to lead this great institution that has
grown from strength to strength since its founding in 1819."
In addition to complementing President Moreland for guiding the
College through the global pandemic "by modelling the grace and
kindness that is the hallmark of this caring and compassionate
community," Nunnelly also described how he has looked to the
"Rather than finding ourselves paralyzed by the grip of current
challenges," Nunnelly said, "I am immensely proud of the way
Centre College has not merely managed
to endure during the global pandemic but how it has thrived and
positioned itself to be even stronger once we emerge from this
He listed numerous accomplishments that have already occurred in
Moreland's first 15 months in office. These include programmatic
additions to expand academic offerings and impressive and strategic
capital projects all supporting educational excellence. And "more
are on the way," Nunnelly added.
On the inauguration theme, Nunnelly closed his remarks
emphasizing that "by embracing inclusive excellence, we aspire to
assure our ability to support faculty, staff and students from
diverse backgrounds by fostering a genuine sense of belonging as
the foundation for an innovative and dynamic campus community that
encourages excellence in all forms."
Nunnelly then introduced Coleman, who brought commendations from
the Governor's Office on behalf of Andy
Beshear and spoke about her experiences as a Centre student
"Many of the values that have come to define me were cultivated
right here at Centre. Hard work, resilience, rising to meet the
moment and learning to see the world through the eyes of others,"
"When I came to Centre and was exposed to a diversity of
experience and thought that was different than my own," Coleman
added, "I became a better student, a more informed citizen and a
more mindful leader."
She closed with a challenge.
"Now, more than ever, our world needs thoughtful and creative
leaders who can build bridges of understanding, lead through
change, and address the challenges of a complex world—and who do so
with empathy and compassion."
Dr. Marjorie Hass, who previously
served as president of Rhodes College
when Moreland served as provost, complimented Centre as a place
that focuses on the "education of the spirit."
She described its "real curriculum" as being about "helping each
student come to see that their insights and actions matter. It is
about cultivating habits of the mind, such as humility,
consistency, compassion and respect. It is about coming to love
justice and the search for truth, to hold high the value of each
human life and to know oneself deeply."
Reflecting on their years working together, Hass added, "As a
leader, Milton has a special gift for keen-eyed clarity and an
ability to look challenges squarely in the eye. Yet he remains a
boundless source of optimism and energy. Over and over again, I
witnessed his creative and compassionate problem solving—I often
describe him as Solomon-like for the way he spots hinge points that
motivate people to find common ground and row in the same
The investiture that followed Hass's remarks involved former
Kentucky Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen, a
1974 alumna of Centre College, who
serves as secretary of the Board of Trustees and bestowed the
presidential medallion. Then Moreland gave his inaugural
Faculty President John Wilson
offered a response after Moreland's address, and the program closed
with a benediction delivered by College Chaplain Rick Axtell, who
expressed gratitude to the Morelands for their "steady stewardship
in an era of contagion and contention, deception and dissension,"
praying that "they lead with an ethic of empathy and equity."
Following the ceremony's conclusion, guests joined President
Moreland, his wife, Dina, their two sons, Marcus and Micah, and
their daughter-in-law, Caroline, for a reception in their honor on
the lawn in front of the Norton Center for the Arts.
Amy Wise, Centre College, +1 859.238.5748,
SOURCE Centre College