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Inaugural Collage

The central events surrounding the inauguration of IUP’s twenty-fourth president took place in early October. In preceding weeks, there were other festivities as well, including a Classic Westerns Film Festival, media symposia, and a Friends of the IUP Libraries program on “The Decision-Makers of Sutton Hall.”


Atwater is the first IUP chief executive inaugurated with a new presidential medallion, which symbolizes the leadership responsibilities invested in the office. The medallion was crafted at Wendell August Forge. Behind Atwater, left to right: Indiana mayor George Hood; Alumni Association Executive Board secretary Catherine BurgerLeister ’78; Student Government Association president Nikki Norris; Clifford Wharton, vice chair of the Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and former chairman and chief executive officer of TIAA-CREF; and David Sweet, president of Youngstown State University.

On the day after the inaugural ceremonies, a Magnificent Collage Concert in Fisher Auditorium featured the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Patricia Prattis Jennings, who performed Rhapsody in Blue on the celebrated Steinway & Sons piano that bears that name. Jazz pianist Joe Augustine also performed, as did an impressive number of IUP music groups and ensembles. The concert was free to the campus and the community.

“I am honored and humbled in assuming the role of the twenty-fourth president of an excellent university known as IUP...Indiana University of Pennsylvania...”

—Tony Atwater

Community Picnic

At an indoor picnic in Sutton Hall’s Blue Room, while the Wildcat Regiment Band played in the background, Bruce Dries ’84, left, portrayed John Sutton and Chip Engelmann portrayed State Senator Harry White. Both gentlemen had been instrumental in locating a State Normal School at Indiana in the 1870s.


President Atwater addressed those assembled for his inauguration in Fisher Auditorium. From left are Pennsylvania State System Board of Governors chairman Kenneth Jarin, Council of Trustees treasurer Robert Hovanec (behind the mace), and State System chancellor Judy Hample.

Bruce Graham and Ed Simpson

As part of the fall’s pre-inaugural events, Minor Demons, a play by Bruce Graham ’79, left, opened in Waller Hall. Theater professor Ed Simpson, right, was a leader in inaugural planning.

Inauguration Ball

Beverly Roberts-Atwater joined her husband at the microphone at the Inaugural/Homecoming Ball at Indiana Country Club. The couple also established the Dr. Tony Atwater and Dr. Beverly Roberts-Atwater Presidential Scholars Fund to provide opportunities for first-generation college students at IUP.

“…a legacy of phenomenal development and growth from its humble beginnings in 1875. This extraordinary history reflects its evolution from Indiana State Normal School to Indiana State Teachers College, to Indiana State College, and finally to Indiana University of Pennsylvania.”

Corey Flintoff

NPR newscaster Corey Flintoff joined other broadcasters in a pre-inaugural symposium that discussed “Media Bias: The War on Journalism.”

Cindi Lash

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette staff writer Cindi Lash ’80 participated in a pre-inaugural symposium panel that examined media bias in print publications.

Jehmu Greene

Jehmu Greene is president of Rock the Vote, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering young people to participate in the political process. She spoke at IUP in the fall as part of the university’s Citizenship and Civic Engagement Initiative.

Stanley Soffin

Stanley Soffin, Michigan State University’s ombudsman for seven years, was one of the ceremony’s guest speakers.

Three Presidents

Three presidents, from left: Lawrence Pettit, 1992-2003, Tony Atwater, and John Welty, 1984-91. Welty is currently president of California State University at Fresno.

“It was the great humorist Will Rogers who once said, ‘You can be on the right track, but if you’re not moving on down the track, you’ll get run over.’ IUP is certainly on the right track. But our excellent university must move forward down that track or it may be overtaken by the market forces and currents of change that are gradually transforming our institution’s destiny, and indeed the destiny of higher education in America.”