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

By Arthur Page

Release Date: October 7, 2004 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Representatives of universities from around the world, University at Buffalo alumni from graduating classes more than 50 years ago and current UB students will be among those participating on Oct. 15 in the ceremony in which John B. Simpson will be invested as the 14th president of the University at Buffalo.

The investiture will begin with a procession led by student flag bearers; feature greetings from state, national and international academic community, and include comments by a man who has known Simpson all of his life -- his father, Barclay Simpson, who will offer greetings from the president's family.

The program, which will culminate with John B. Simpson's inaugural address, will be held at 3 p.m. in the Mainstage theater in the Center for the Arts on the North Campus. A reception for guests will be held in the CFA atrium immediately following the ceremony.

The investiture of Simpson will be conducted by SUNY Chancellor Robert L. King.

It will be broadcast live on the Web at

To celebrate the beginning of this new chapter in the university's history, a month-long inaugural celebration is being held at UB during October. Events designated as part of the celebration -- of which the investiture will be the centerpiece -- 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.

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.

The investiture ceremony on Oct. 15 will open with a procession led by students carrying UB school and college flags and members of UB's Pillars Society, whose members graduated from UB 50 or more years ago. They will be followed by delegates from international colleges and universities, U.S. colleges and universities, colleges and universities in the State University of New York System and learned societies, foundations and professional organizations. Next in line will be the presidents of UB alumni associations, members of the university staff, UB faculty members and members of the platform party.

The processional, Johann Sebastian Bach's "Sonata No. 1 in G major" and "Sonata No. 5 in E minor," as well as other pieces, including UB's alma mater, will be performed by three faculty members in the music department in the College of Arts and Sciences: flutist Cheryl Gobbetti-Hoffman, cellist Jonathan Golove and pianist Stephen Manes.

A musical interlude mid-ceremony will be performed by the UB Choir under the direction of Harold Rosenbaum and feature baritone Alexander Hurd, who also will sing the national anthem.

The investiture will be opened and closed with declarations by Peter A. Nickerson, who will carry the university mace as chair of the Faculty Senate and is professor of pathology and anatomical sciences in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

Welcomes by Mecca S. Cranley, investiture marshal and dean of the School of Nursing, and Jeremy M. Jacobs, chair of the UB Council, will precede greetings for President Simpson from state and federal elected officials.

Greetings for Simpson from the educational community will be extended by Robert M. Bennett, chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents, on behalf of the New York State educational community and Johann-Dietrich Wörner, president of Darmstadt University of Technology in Germany.

Offering greetings to Simpson on behalf of national academic community will be Susan E. Jeffords, professor of English and women's studies, and vice provost for academic planning at the University of Washington; Joyce Justus, professor emerita of anthropology at the University of California, San Diego, and Claude M. Steele, Lucie Stern Professor in the Social Sciences at Stanford University.

Welcomes for UB's president from the university community will be extended on behalf of the faculty by Susan Howe, SUNY Distinguished Professor and Samuel P. Capen Chair of Poetics and Humanities in the Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences; on behalf of students by David M. Brooks, student representative on the UB Council, and on behalf of UB alumni by Jennifer B. Wozniak, president of the UB Alumni Association.