Investiture of John B. Simpson to be Held on Oct. 15

More than 50 Events will be Part of Month-long Inaugural Celebration in October

By Arthur Page

Release Date: September 2, 2004 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- John B. Simpson will be recognized officially as the University at Buffalo's 14th president in an investiture ceremony at 3 p.m. Oct. 15 in the MainStage theater in the Center for the Arts (CFA) on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.

Simpson's investiture, which will be broadcast live on the Web, will be followed by a reception in the atrium of the CFA.

To celebrate the beginning of this new chapter in the university's history, a month-long inaugural celebration will be held during October. Events designated as part of the celebration—of which the investiture will be the centerpiece—will include a mix of major events already on the university's calendar and a long list of academic programs created specifically for the inaugural observation.

Visit the inauguration Web site at to view the list of events scheduled at this time. Visitors to the Web site also can sign up to receive email updates on inaugural events.

A full calendar of inaugural events will be printed in the Reporter on Sept. 23.

Planning for the investiture and month of inaugural events is under the direction of a 19-member committee appointed by Jeremy M. Jacobs, chair of the UB Council, and Reginald B. Newman II, chair of the board of trustees of the UB Foundation.

Co-chairs of the committee are Stephen C. Dunnett, vice provost for international education; Carole Smith Petro, associate vice president and general manager of WBFO 88.7 FM, and James A. (Beau) Willis, chief of staff in the Office of the President and special assistant to Simpson. Membership of the committee, reported previously in the Reporter, is available on the inauguration Web site, along with the names of members of subcommittees and the planning and implementation team, and liaisons with the Office of the President and Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs.

"The investiture and related events present a terrific opportunity for the entire UB family, as well as our friends in the greater Buffalo community and from around the world, to rally around the administration and express its support for a new era of leadership for the University at Buffalo," Petro noted.

"We hope that the occasion will send a signal that UB is proud of its past accomplishments, and that the investiture and month of inaugural events will unite the academic community in reaching even higher levels of achievement in the future."

Dunnett added that the "the inauguration of a new president occurs once in a great while and in a number of ways, it represents a new beginning. Coming near the start of a new academic year, the investiture of President Simpson will mark an invigorating time of renewal, a fresh start, an opportunity for the university to look forward and begin working toward a shared vision of future greatness."

Dunnett noted that nearly 60 events during the month of October have been submitted by deans, faculty and staff from across the university and designated as inaugural events.

"Our Inaugural Events Subcommittee has been extremely impressed by the range and quality of the events proposed for inclusion in the official inaugural calendar," he added.

"These events include endowed lectures and distinguished speakers from both UB and the larger scholarly community, conferences and symposia in various disciplines, exhibitions of faculty and student work, recitals by the likes of Leon Fleisher and Kathleen Battle, productions by students in our Department of Theatre and Dance, and convocations of professional school alumni. We have something for everyone—from a lecture by a Nobel laureate in physics to a debate on national security broadcast on WBFO, from a reading and discussion of American Indian poetry to a performance of the Beijing Opera. October will be a month to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary richness of the university in all its dimensions."

Willis noted that inaugural events are open to the public "and welcome the participation of the larger community of Western New York. We hope the inaugural events will underscore many of the ways that UB is an integral part of the life of Western New York, contributing in diverse ways to the betterment of the community."

The month-long inaugural celebration will open on Oct. 1 with the opening of "Harvey Breverman: Humanist Impulses Selected Paintings, Drawings, Prints," an exhibition in the UB Anderson Gallery featuring paintings and drawings from the 1980s to the present of Breverman, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Art in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Oct. 1 also will see the 16th annual J. Warren Perry Lecture of the School of Public Health and Health Professions, the Rustgi Lecture in Physics and a concert by world-class pianist Leon Fleisher as part of the music department's Visiting Artist Series.

The month of celebration will draw to a close with the 29th annual Law Alumni Convocation of the Law School and the sixth annual Masquerade Ball sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts. Honorary chairs of the event, which will celebrate the CFA's 10th anniversary, will be John B. Simpson and Katherine Gower.

A major educational forum, "International Student Mobility: Why is it Important?," will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 16 in the ballroom of the University Inn and Conference Center, 400 N. Forest Road, Amherst. The forum is being coordinated by Dunnett, who has invited the presidents of American universities and presidents and rectors of UB's approximately 40 overseas exchange partner universities to participate in the discussion.