Pearls of Wisdom
"You'll hear lots of speeches today," jested Board of Visitors Rector Henry H. Harrell to open the Sept. 17 inaugural ceremony of JMU's fifth president, Linwood H. Rose.
"But," the rector said, "a presidential inauguration is a grand occasion. It is even grander at JMU because of its rarity since, to our good fortune, the past presidents of our university have all had the proclivity to enjoy long - and highly successful - tenures as president. Today, we have representatives from many groups and organizations that wish to extend their best wishes on this important occasion."
Representatives of the Commonwealth of Virginia, of higher education, the local community, students, parents, faculty and staff, alumni, and colleagues conveyed greetings and best wishes to President Rose.
Lt. Gov. John T. Hager and Virginia Secretary of Technology Donald W. Upson, represented the Commonwealth of Virginia and the governor's office. Hager applauded Rose on his appointment as president and praised JMU for its influence in Virginia.
Upson too praised JMU's positive influence in Virginia's higher education community. "Ronald Carrier during his tenure here, built a stage. And the commonwealth is looking at that stage now. And, I think people across the country are looking at it. I know Dr. Rose will take full advantage of that stage and build upon it successfully. People are looking at Virginia today."
Paul E. Torgerson, president of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (where President Rose earned a bachelor's degree in economics), represented 65 delegates of higher education institutions who marched in the processional. Torgerson said, "As our society becomes ever more dependent upon colleges and universities - for educating citizens and preparing graduates for careers, for developing new ideas and innovations, for creating businesses and jobs, and for helping solve vexing problems of the day - I am confident that James Madison University and President Rose will be at the forefront. JMU's profile stands tall on the Virginia higher education scene, and I am convinced that your best years are still ahead of you."
James V. Couch, professor of psychology and speaker of the JMU Faculty Senate, read a resolution passed by the faculty in honor and support of Dr. Rose. "The faculty seeks to work in a collaborative and congenial manner with President Rose for the betterment of the university and the students this university is committed to serve," pledged Couch.
Students too pledged their support. "On behalf of all the students of JMU, I offer our support and best wishes for your successful presidency," said Austin F. Adams, president of the Student Government Association.
Patrick A. Julius ('87), president of the JMU Alumni Association Board of Directors, congratulated President Rose on behalf of 70,000-plus JMU alumni. "The road to this celebration began 25 years ago, when Dr. Rose first joined the JMU community," said Julius. "All alumni, from the first class of 1910 to the most recent graduates, can celebrate the future that we are guaranteeing through the hard work and commitment Dr. Rose has contributed to our alma mater."
JMU Parents Council co-chairs John and Emily Cocowitch unveiled a chain of office, which was commissioned by the council and given to JMU for the president to wear at official ceremonies.
Other official greetings came in the form of gifts and proclamations for Rose. Rodney L. Eagle, mayor of Harrisonburg, presented Rose with a framed resolution from the city council that proclaimed Sept. 17 as James Madison University Day in Harrisonburg. Charles W. Ahrend, chairman of the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors, also presented Rose with a framed proclamation. Christina B. Updike, chair of the JMU Employee Advisory Committee, presented Rose with a scroll that JMU staff members signed with personal notes and congratulations. Also honoring Rose at the inaugural was U.S. Congressman Bob Goodlatte, whose district includes Harrisonburg.
Rector Henry Harrell said, "On this auspicious occasion, we look for inspiration and guidance from the man whose name our university bears, James Madison. He was an early champion of education and he spoke out forcefully and eloquently on the important linkage between knowledge and liberty. Dr. Rose is an adherent of Mr. Madison's noble ideas. Our new president is a man driven by a quest for excellence He reveres learning and scholarship. He holds a deep respect for teachers and is committed to involving the entire university community in a collegial approach to the challenges of the future. He is deeply committed to the concept of the total educational experience for students, where the campus atmosphere outside the classroom augments the academic experience in producing educated and involved citizens. It is my honor to call Dr. Rose forward to be installed as the fifth president of James Madison University."