The University of Missouri celebrated the inauguration of the chancellor tonight at the Missouri Theatre. Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin is MU's 22nd chancellor. The ceremony included a procession that began at the Reynolds Alumni Center and concluded at the Missouri Theatre.
Interim Provost Kenneth D. Dean welcomed the crowd of students, faculty and alumni. The Curators Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus William Bondeson recited the invocation.
Students Brandon Browning and Jenna Braaksma performed "Shannon's Aria" an opera performance from the Corps of Discovery. The MU Wind Ensemble Brass performed the proclamation composed by Professor Emeritus John Cheetham. UM system President Timothy M. Wolfe and MU Board of Curators Chairman Don M. Downing formally instated Chancellor Loftin by presenting him with the Jefferson medallion, the insignia of office. The medallion is a gift from the Jefferson Club Trustees that is worn by the MU chancellor on formal of occasions.
In his address, the chancellor talked about his beginning in Texas A&M as a student. He was impacted by the help he received from the university to attend college. He was the first in his family to attend college. During his years at College Station, he decided to pursue a career in teaching.
It is his third time being chancellor of an institution. He has been at 7 different universities since receiving his PhD, marking 40 years of working in higher education.
"I came committed to be the Chancellor during my visit in November of 2013, although many people didn't know" said Loftin. "Something stood out to me. When I saw the east side of Faurot Field dedicated to the student section that sent a message of where the students sat in the institution. That, my friends, is special."
He also announced he will be creating a steering committee made up of students, faculty and staff to define what MU will be for the future.
Interim Provost Kenneth D. Dean delivered the closing remarks and Nollie G. Moore led the crowd in the singing of the Alma Mater. After the ceremonial program, a reception was held in Stotler Lounge in Memorial Union.