What is an inauguration?
Often, inaugurations of university presidents occur over several days and include many public events such as lectures, special theater or musical performances and private receptions, dinners and events for donors and special friends of the university.
Taking into consideration the current economic situation, and the enormity of the planning and human resources needed to organize a large inauguration, Dr. Marbach has chosen to proceed with a simple, yet dignified, investiture ceremony and inaugural week.
What is an investiture ceremony?
The investiture ceremony is counted among the oldest of traditions in academia. Originating in English universities and modeled after highly dignified knighthood ceremonies, investiture comes from the Latin phrase for “dress in robe.” In academic circles, the term has come to mean one who will literally don the university’s insignia and regalia. The investiture is the actual ceremony at which the new president receives the symbols of office from the GCU Board of Trustees. It serves as a platform for the new president to publicly express the vision or theme for the coming years.
The installation of a new university president is a ceremony of dignity with many academic traditions and protocols. An academic procession takes place that includes delegates from other colleges and universities, as well as Georgian Court University’s own faculty. Marchers wear the colorful academic regalia of their own institution. Interspersed with musical selections, there will be the processional, invocation, greetings from several university and community groups, a blessing of the new president, a presentation of the symbols of office, the inaugural address, the singing of the Alma Mater, the benediction, and the recessional.
The investiture of a president is a significant event in the life of a university. Since Georgian Court was founded in 1908, our institution has been guided by eight previous presidents, all Sisters of Mercy, each of whom has left an indelible mark on the history of the university.
How long will the ceremony last?
The Investiture Ceremony will last no longer than one hour and forty-five minutes. Light refreshments will immediately follow.
Who is invited to attend the ceremony?
Anyone who has an interest in attending the Investiture Ceremony is welcome. If you have not received an e-mail or print invitation by September 18, please call 732-987-2263 to reserve a seat.
What is the attire for the event?
The attire for the event is business casual.
Will the ceremony be available on the Internet?
Yes, the ceremony will be available via live stream on the Web.
The Academic Procession
The ceremony will begin with a formal processional, much like a commencement ceremony, and includes the platform party who will participate in the ceremony, delegates from other colleges and universities, university faculty, and alumni and student representatives.
Participants wear full academic regalia during the investiture procession and installation ceremony. The president marches in regalia with the school colors, but without the president’s medallion, which will be presented during the ceremony.
Today’s academic regalia has its origins in medieval English custom, where styles of gowns, mortars, and hoods conveyed the loyalties, disciplines, and achievement levels of the wearers. These academic costumes arrived in America in the 1700s and have been made uniform by two 20th-century examinations by a commission for the American Council on Education.
The color of the gown is commonly black, with no trim for the bachelor’s or master’s degrees. The doctor’s gown is faced along the front with broad velvet panels and has full bell-shaped sleeves each bearing three horizontal bars of velvet; it may be worn open or closed. The bachelor’s gown has pointed sleeves in contrast to the master’s gown, which is distinguished by the long oblong sleeve with a square cut. The hood worn around the neck and draped down the back displays the colors of the institution which awarded the degree, as well as the colors of the degree subject. Bachelor’s degree hoods are optional. Tassels for caps or mortars are black, though gold is most often worn by those with doctoral degrees. The cords, sashes, and stoles worn by some of the graduating students are provided by the academic honor societies or programs to which they belonged. The colors and lettering of the honor regalia are those of the honor society or program.
The official Georgian Court University gown is worn by the president, trustees, honorary degree recipients, and Commencement speaker. The royal blue gown is embellished with black velvet panels on the front, on which the Georgian Court University seal is embroidered in gold, and black velvet chevrons on the sleeves. The hoods are Georgian Court’s school colors of blue and gold, and the black velvet tams are adorned with gold silk tassels.
Symbols of Office
The University Mace
The history and tradition of the mace is rooted in medieval times. Over time the mace was used for royal ceremonial purposes and eventually became intertwined with the idea of a scepter, made with precious metals and encrusted with jewels. The mace evolved into a symbol of authority, order, and pomp in academic ceremonies, reflecting the mission and values of the institution. A new mace was crafted for Georgian Court after the institution became a university in 2004.
The university mace symbolizes the commitment of the faculty and administration of the university to excellence in education, and to the Mercy core values of justice, respect, integrity, service, and compassion. The fluted walnut staff bears the gold seal of Georgian Court surrounded by blue enamel, which is positioned above a bronze plate engraved with the Mercy core values. The mace is proudly carried by the mace bearer, traditionally the incoming chair of the Faculty Assembly.
The President’s Medallion
The President’s Medallion, which is also called the lavaliere, depicts the seal of the university on the front and the cross of the Sisters of Mercy on the reverse. It is worn by the president at official university functions of high solemnity, such as the Inauguration, Convocation, and Commencement. The seal of Georgian Court University features the Cross of Christ, which symbolizes true Christian character. This character is enlightened by the lighted lamp and illustrates the virtues of truth and goodness. These virtues are fostered through the Book of the Arts and Sciences by which Georgian Court students achieve intellectual development. The lion signifies moral and physical fortitude united by the laurel wreath, the Greek symbol of victory and triumph.
The name of the school is inscribed in English, accompanied by the founding date, 1908.
Bonitas, Disciplina, Scientia—goodness, discipline, and knowledge—are the virtues through which the Georgian Court graduate will triumph in the formation of her or his character.
Presidential Transition Steering Committee
Lesa Lardieri-Wright ’75
Chair of the Board of Trustees
Mary Lee Batesko, Ed.D.
Professor of Education
Vice President of the Commuter Student Association
Patricia E. Koch, Esq., ’69
Alfred F. Mancuso, Psy.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology,
Chair of the Department of Psychology and Counseling & Chair of the Faculty Assembly
Finance and Administration Assistant
Director of Residence Life
Robert E. Mulcahy III
Elizabeth Healey Mulvihill ’66
Vice President of the Student Government Association Executive Board
Judith Schubert, RSM, Ph.D., ’66
Professor of Religious Studies and Theology
Executive Assistant to the President
Tara M. Strickland
Assistant Editorial Director
M. Deborah Hanley Williams ’68
Mellissia Zanjani, Ph.D., CRFE
Vice President for Institutional Advancement