Campus, community gather for historic inauguration ceremony in Pfeiffer Hall

May 17, 2013

On Friday, May 17—the same date as the laying of the Cornerstone for Old Main in 1870—Dr. Troy D. Hammond was inaugurated as the 10th president of North Central College. The ceremony was held in Pfeiffer Hall and was attended by Hammond’s family and friends, the campus community, delegates from other institutions of higher education and alumni representatives ranging from the Classes of 1948 through 2012.

The installation of the president was conducted by Steven Hoeft  ’73, chair of the Board of Trustees. “Dr. Hammond, it is my pleasure to congratulate you as the 10th president of North Central College.  We know that you accept this role as you do all of your roles—with honor, intelligence, passion and commitment.”

During the installation, Hoeft placed the Presidential Medal around Hammond’s neck. The cast bronze medal displays the College seal and is inscribed with the names and service dates of the previous nine presidents. “This presidential medallion serves as a symbol of the authority and responsibility that resides with you as this College’s foremost representative,” Hoeft said. “I hereby entrust you with the presidency of North Central College.”

Hammond then presented his inaugural address, reflecting on the significance of the occasion and outlining his vision for “A Brilliant Future.”  He spoke about the historic traditions that have distinguished North Central and articulated the importance of the role of liberal arts and sciences in preparing students for the 21st century.

“Colleges like North Central help to make our community better, our nation better and our world better. We challenge our students to question the status quo and defend what they believe. We provide knowledge and information, but we also foster respect for ethical leadership and service . . .

“I’m honored to wear this medal and accept the responsibilities that come with it, and I embrace the challenges that come with the North Central College presidency.  I’m committed to preserving the character of this great College, which means honoring our heritage and longstanding values— and making thoughtful changes when the times call for them . . .

“It’s as clear to me now as it was the first time I learned about the College:  North Central is destined for a new and brilliant future.”

The ceremony included a procession of participants in full academic regalia as well as music by the Concert Choir, Women’s Chorale, Concert Winds, Flute Choir and Chamber Strings. Also participating in the ceremony were speakers who offered greetings on behalf of various constituents. Excerpts of those greetings follow:

Dr. Herman White, Board Trustee: “It is traditional at a College’s presidential inauguration that the Board of Trustees formally welcomes the new president of the institution . . . Dr. Hammond, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, I warmly welcome you to North Central College.  We look forward to you leading the College’s 152-year Promising Start to a most Brilliant Future.”

President Emeritus Harold Wilde: “You’ve got a 21st century toolkit to bring to 21st century challenges like adapting to the world of MOOCs — without losing sight of the deep commitment to the liberal arts, small classes and a grounding in ethics and values that have defined the special character of North Central for over a century and a half.”

Dr. Michael Chapman, professor of physics, Georgia Tech:  “Underlying his success in all endeavors is a bedrock of personal integrity based firmly on spiritual values, a dedication to family and a fundamental generosity. So it is with confidence that I say that in Dr. Hammond, you will have a president with great leadership skills and the highest integrity—a leader who exemplifies collegiality, innovative problem solving and an unwavering resolve to achieve the mission of the College.”

Jeffrey Anstine, associate professor of management, faculty speaker: “I welcome you into our community of scholars, engaged teachers, dedicated coaches and learners. We look forward to accompanying you on this deeply important and profoundly gratifying journey that draws upon the power of the mind, the expressiveness of the arts and the capacity of the human spirit to change and improve the world.”

Derek Sanderson ’13, Student Governing Association president: “The community at North Central College is like a family, and we are excited to add you as a new member to ours. The College’s mission is to prepare students to be informed, involved, principled and productive citizens and leaders for their lifetime. As one who passionately embraces our mission statement, you’ve lived your life in a similar fashion, now serving as a great role model for the entire student body.”

Lori Nita ’02 Novak: “Dr. Hammond, it is with great honor that I, as the president of the Alumni Board, congratulate you on your appointment as the 10th president of North Central College. As proud graduates, we are prepared to answer your call, understanding that our role is absolutely vital to the College’s continued success. We must be eager to nurture the College’s growth through active participation and financial support of institutional priorities, including the construction of a new science center. It is essential that we seek to protect and preserve all that is so special about this place.”

George Pradel, mayor of Naperville: “I know you will enhance the proud legacy of North Central College, and under your leadership the College will flourish.  I, and the City, want to help you and play a supportive role in your presidency.  You are a cherished part of the Naperville family!  I am proud to say to you, as my dear friend, welcome to Naperville!”

Bishop Sally Dyck, resident bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church and a Trustee of North Central College:  “I lift up the College’s beginnings—not so we can linger and wax nostalgic—but to remind us of the tradition and values out of which North Central has emerged and continues to move forward into the future. A strong Methodist heritage is at the heart of this school. Dr. Hammond, the United Methodist Church welcomes you into our communion as you carry forward the spirit of the early pioneers who planted this institution.”

Please view our photo gallery from the Inauguration Ceremony.