Inaugural History

James J. Whalen

President, Ithaca College, 1975-1997

James J. Whalen was inaugurated as president of Ithaca College on October 18, 1975. The Whalen inauguration followed a ceremonial pattern from processional to recessional that included a guest speaker, presentation of the charter, investiture of the symbols of office, remarks by the new president, and greetings from the president of the Student Council and the chairperson of Faculty Council. Music was provided by the Ithaca College Orchestra, conducted by Pamela Gearhart.

The Ithaca Journal reported that about 400 people attended the ceremony and that the new president made brief remarks, which centered on a letter he had received the previous week from a friend. A quoted excerpt from the Journal article: " 'I'll do the best I can. I'll try not to give you rhetoric, but deeds. I hope we'll be able to work together and plan together for a better Ithaca College.' "