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Presidential Inauguration preview

A preview of events during inauguration week

By Adam Overland

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Sept. 12, 2011

President Eric Kaler has had a busy eleven-plus weeks since taking the reins as sixteenth president of the University of Minnesota on July 1, but the sixteenth president of the U isn’t the sixteenth president of the U without a proper inauguration.

The University of Minnesota will celebrate the inauguration of Eric W. Kaler from Monday, Sept. 19, through Saturday, Sept. 24, with the formal ceremony to be held Thursday, Sept. 22, in Ted Mann Concert Hall. The week consists of a series of activities on and off campus, including four public events: the inauguration ceremony, reception, portrait unveiling, and football game vs. North Dakota State.

President Kaler has stated that he wants the inauguration and the week’s festivities to instill and promote pride in the University among faculty, staff, and students; among legislative and business leaders; and among all Minnesotans. Thus the theme, "Minnesota All."

The formal inauguration ceremony on Sept. 22 will be broadcast at all coordinate campuses, and can be watched through live streaming from the University’s home page.

In addition, student social media ambassadors will be following President Kaler throughout the week and posting to a special Twitter account, @PrezKaler. The account will go live Sept. 16 with student ambassadors beginning their coverage on Sept. 19.

Here’s a rundown of the week’s events

Monday, Sept. 19, President Kaler will eat breakfast with students and tour the St. Paul campus with stops at the following locations:

•    St. Paul bee lab, College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences
•    U of M Extension turf research fields
•    College of Biological Sciences
•    College of Continuing Education
•    College of Veterinary Medicine

Following the St. Paul tour, he’ll have lunch with students at Coffman Memorial Union and then visit these sites within the Academic Health Center:

•    School of Public Health
•    AHC Simulation Center, serving the School of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, and Medical School
•    School of Dentistry Simulation Center
•    Health Professional Collaborative Practice

Tuesday, Sept. 20, President Kaler will spend Community Day getting acquainted with the broader community and some of the many ways the University collaborates to improve the well-being of Minnesota’s people and economy. He’ll begin the day with a visit to Fran and Mary Ann Miron’s dairy farm near the Twin Cities, where he’ll meet with local high school students studying agriculture. Kaler will also meet with University and industry leaders in the health- and science-related products and services industry; visit the Guthrie Theater, where he’ll learn about partnerships between area arts organizations and University’s arts departments; and tour UROC—the U’s Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center in North Minneapolis. President Kaler will end the day by throwing out the first pitch at the Minnesota Twins game.

Wednesday, Sept. 21, President Kaler will tour the west and east bank campuses.

On the West Bank, stops will include the following

  • Law School
  • Humphrey School’s CHANCE program, a service learning initiative in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood
  • Carlson School of Management
  • School of Music, College of Liberal Arts
  • Global Programs and Strategy Alliance

On the East Bank he will visit these locations:

  • College of Education and Human Development
  • Psychology Department, College of Liberal Arts
  • College of Science and Engineering
  • College of Design

He’ll finish the day at a reception for coordinate campus representatives.

Thursday, Sept. 22, is the big day. The Inauguration Ceremony begins at 11 a.m., in Ted Mann Concert Hall. To attend in person, you must have a ticket; however, the ceremony will also be shown live in Coffman Union, the St. Paul Student Center, and Rarig Center, as well as on the U of M home page (  In addition, the ceremony will be carried live in Kirby Rafters on the Duluth campus, in Bede Ballroom of Sargeant Student Center on the Crookston campus, in Room 122 of the Welcome Center on the Morris campus, and in Room 419 University Square on the Rochester campus. A reception will follow the ceremony from 2 to 4 p.m., Coffman Union (various locations).

Friday and Saturday, Sept. 23 and 24, President Kaler will get a reflection of himself with the unveiling of the Presidential portrait at noon, Sept. 23, Coffman Union Front Plaza. He’ll finish the week at the Gopher football team’s home game on Sept. 24, in TCF Bank Stadium.

For more information, see Inauguration week.