Inaugural History

Peggy R. Williams

President, Ithaca College, 1997-2008

While pomp and circumstance were certainly part of the formal inauguration of Peggy R. Williams as president of Ithaca College, Williams first joined with the rest of the campus in rolling up her shirtsleeves to help the wider Ithaca community. On Friday, March 27, 1998, a "Day of Service" preceded the Satuday's formal investiture of Williams as the College's seventh president.

With the theme "You Can't Spell Service without IC!" the Day of Service was intended to encourage the campus to participate in the inauguration through developing and supporting special activities that would benefit the local community. Projects included book, food, and clothing collections; a community cleanup project; an "involvement fair" spotlighting volunteer opportunities in the area; musical performances in local schools; and visits to area nursing homes, schools, and day care centers.

The next day academic gowns replaced blue jeans for the inaugural ceremony. The celebration featured a procession of delegates from colleges and universities in New York and Vermont, trustees, and faculty; comments by Sr. Elizabeth A. Candon, former president of Trinity College in Vermont and a longtime mentor of Williams's; greetings from campus, government, and higher education representatives; and inaugural remarks by Williams.