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Monday, October 25, 2010

Glory Day

This post is really just a photographic musing of the inauguration of President Dennis Ahlburg as Trinity's 18th president. The ceremony was on October 22, 2010. I actually tweeted out the photo at right under the heading of "Modern President." It just seemed funny to me to see the man of the hour in these antique robes chatting on his cell phone. I think it is called cognitive dissonance. In reality, I think he was talking to a local radio reporter. This was just prior to the ceremony. President Ahlburg is modern in many ways, though he is probably less tied to technology than some of his VPs.

This next photo shows part of the crowd of the assembled representatives from other institutions and the faculty. One thing I noted from my vantage point on the platform party was that there was no correlation between the speaker or the size of the academic regalia on one's head and taking a little snooze. It did seem to that there was a correlation between age and inner eyelid gazing. I asked a younger professor for her view of the ceremony. i think she summed up the feelings of many when she said it was really interesting and more spirited than she anticipated. I completely agree. As formal ceremonies go, this felt down-to-earth, fun, and interesting. I should note that a colleague of mine strongly suggested it would be inappropriate to be on the platform party taking photos and tweeting. Duh. I know that NOW. I did snap this on the way out, which explains the picture quality. Let's just say, lots of good photos and Tweet opportunities were missed.
Another fun image included the energetic and angelic/impish Master Benjamin (in coat and tie, below) adding youth to the inauguration - even outlasting some of the robed guests in stamina. San Antonio mayor Julian Castro (southeast photo below, left) and student government president Emmalee Bannon (southeast photo below right), offered welcoming remarks as did Carmen Garza, representing the staff. I loved that the student and the secretary more than held their own against other more experienced orators.

Probably the best part of the day was the dinner honoring the President. It featured speakers who were friends of Dennis and Penelope from Australia and Minnesota and some nice words by Board Chairman Walter Huntley and Trinity first Lady Penelope Harley in a hat reflecting the Australian couture theme. The President had the air of a person who had just been made official, based on the tie and socks he chose for the event. As with the ceremonies earlier, it signaled that pomp and formality could co-exist with fun and frivolity. That's how it can and should be in our work. I think we can take our cue from our newly official leader.

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