The investiture of William J. McKinney, Ph.D, as the ninth president of Valdosta State University will take place at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 5, 2013, in the VSU PE Complex. Dr. McKinney has selected "Engaged Innovation," as his inaugural theme and the Inaugural Committee has scheduled a series of events during the week of April 1- 6, 2013 to demonstrate VSU's role as an innovator and engaged member of the South Georgia region.
During the official investiture ceremony on April 5, University of System of Georgia Chancellor Henry M. Huckaby will administer the symbolic conferring of authority to Dr. McKinney as president of Valdosta State University.
Dr. George L. Mehaffy, Vice President of Academic leadership at American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) will be the keynote speaker at the investiture ceremony. Mehaffy and McKinney have collaborated on various higher education issues including AASCU's Red Balloon Project, a national project devoted to fundamentally re-imagining the role, revenue streams, and operation of higher education resulting from the post-2008 budget challenges.
Throughout the week, separate symposia will focus on engaged innovation and how it impacts scholarship, classrooms, communities and higher education. The symposia will highlight individuals who have changed the world or contributed to the innovative processes within the region. The university's annual Undergraduate Research Symposium will also be part of the week-long inauguration activities.
Additional events include a student art exhibition, a theatrical production of Pippin, a showcase of innovative performances from students and faculty, and a friendly battle of the bands competition. The public will also have an opportunity to attend the "Mixing it up with the President and First Lady" fundraising event—where participants will learn how to make original cocktails developed by the president for the inauguration—and may register to attend the Inaugural Ball to benefit student scholarships, which will take place on Friday, April 5 in the Student Union Ballroom.