[Ed. note] Read the full text of the president's address.
Peggy R. Williams's inauguration festivities are highlighted by a College-wide Day of Service, a ceremony attended by government and higher education officials, and glorious summer weather -- in March. In Ithaca!
By Garry VanGorder
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, a "Day of Service" preceded Saturday's formal investiture of Williams as the College's seventh president.
Before entering the field of higher education, Williams was a social worker for the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont and the Monroe County, New York, social services department. That background, along with her continuing service to numerous community and professional organizations, made the Day of Service a logical component of Williams's inauguration.
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 benefit the local community. Projects included book, food, and clothing collections; a community cleanup project (clear skies and temperatures in the 80s made the outdoor work especially popular); 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 day concluded with a reception hosted by President Williams to recognize the participants in Day of Service events as well as those who work quietly in behalf of the community throughout the year.
To be of service: President Williams visits with grade school students; poses in robes with trustee chair Herman E. Muller Jr. '51 and Cornell University president Hunter R. Rawlings III; scoops ice cream for campus volunteers with acting provost Mary Lee Seibert, vice president for business and administrative affairs Tom Salm, and vice president for college relations and resource development Bonnie Gordon '77; rakes leaves on South Hill with students.