On Friday, April 17, 2009, Ithaca College inaugurated its eighth president, Thomas R. Rochon.

President Rochon came to Ithaca in July 2008 from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, where he was executive vice president and chief academic officer, overseeing the university's six schools and colleges and, along with the chief administrative officer, sharing responsibility for the $150 million university budget. He has made it his mission to lead Ithaca College in becoming, as the College's mission statement declares, "the standard of excellence for residential comprehensive colleges." Toward that end, President Rochon initiated a wide-ranging and intensive strategic visioning process that will identify priorities and programs in support of academic excellence.

Putting theory into practice has been at the heart of an Ithaca College education since 1892, and the celebration of President Rochon's inauguration showcased Ithaca's tradition of learning by doing. The festivities began on Thursday, April 16, with the James J. Whalen Academic Symposium, an annual presentation of student research and creative work that extended throughout the day.

The inauguration ceremony took place on Friday, April 17, at 3:00 p.m. The day's activities concluded at 8:15 p.m. with the Shirley and Chas Hockett Chamber Music Concert Series, featuring internationally renowned guitarist Manuel Barrueco and the world-famous string quartet Cuarteto Latinoamericano.