Presidential Inauguration

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Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D., receives university charter

Wendy B. Libby, Ph.D., receives university charter. Click for high-resolution image.

Stetson University’s ninth president, Dr. Wendy B. Libby, was inaugurated Saturday, March 20, in a ceremony marked by the colorful traditions of academia and the promise of a bright future for Stetson as “a university of significance.”

In her Inaugural Address, Libby celebrated Stetson’s 126-year-old commitment to integrating the pursuit of education and truth with the search for meaning in one’s personal faith quest and spiritual life. She vowed that Stetson would not rest on its laurels in challenging times, but would embrace a broad vision to assure the university emerges stronger and well-positioned for the future.



President Libby, left, walking in processional through Woodland Blvd.

President Libby, left, walking in processional through Woodland Blvd. Click for high-resolution image.

Libby issued a challenge to a “greater purpose” to the hundreds of alumni, students, faculty, staff and supporters at the Inauguration in the university’s Edmunds Center. Faculty represented each of the university’s colleges and schools – the College of Arts & Sciences, the School of Business Administration, the College of Law and the School of Music – and each of the university’s four locations: the historic campus in DeLand, the law campus in Gulfport/St. Petersburg, the Tampa Law Center, and the Stetson University Center at Celebration in the metropolitan Orlando area.

“I challenge and invite each of you to join me in embracing this vision for Stetson University that is enriched and informed by history and tradition, but requires our courage and determination to always seek the higher good, the deeper commitment, the brighter future – to be a university of significance,” she said.

More than 170 professors and delegates marched in the processional

More than 170 professors and delegates marched in the processional. Click for high-resolution image.

Inauguration morning started with a procession of about 130 Stetson faculty members, administrators and trustees and about 40 delegates representing colleges and universities across the United States, led by a bagpiper, from Stetson’s main gates north on Woodland Boulevard (U.S. 17-92) to the Edmunds Center. Students and members of the community lined the roadway, some with congratulatory banners.

Libby became Stetson’s ninth president in July 2009, succeeding Dr. H. Douglas Lee, who has since passed away. Libby has had a broad career in higher education and private industry, most recently serving as president of Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., from 2003 to 2009. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., she earned her doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of Connecticut.