MORGANTOWN -- "Coming Home" is the theme of a week-long celebration Oct. 14-21 at West Virginia University that will culminate with the inauguration of Mike Garrison as the University's 22nd president.
The ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19, in historic Woodburn Circle on the Downtown Campus, with many public events planned for the days leading up to and after the ceremony. Inaugural activities will coincide with WVU Homecoming and Diversity Week.
For WVU President Mike Garrison, the path home will be complete Oct. 19.
"Twenty years ago, I began a relationship with WVU that has changed my life in ways I never expected," he said. "I discovered that I enjoyed the English language, the study of government and law, and the many rewards of being a Mountaineer. I met my wife Heather here. Together, we hold five degrees from the University. The path that began at WVU took me far – to study in England, an internship at the U.S. Capitol, and to law practice and state government in Charleston. But all the while, Morgantown was calling me home. On Oct. 19, the path home will be complete."
Each day of Inauguration Week will have its own theme tied to WVU's mission of teaching, research and public service, Case said.
Registration is required/requested for some events and can be done online by visiting the WVU Inauguration Web site at: http://www.inauguration.wvu.edu .
The following is a tentative list of events, activities planned for Inauguration Week:
Sunday, Oct. 14 – Supporting Families, Strengthening Health
* 11 a.m.-4 p.m. – Family Day at the WVU Farm, Stewartstown Road – Kids or kids-at-heart will experience fun, hands-on activities from the Davis College of Agriculture, Forestry and Consumer Sciences, WVU Extension Service and the Mountaineer Parents Club.
* 7:45 p.m. – Garrison family blessing, Emmaus Hall, St. John University Parish – Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, will preside over this special occasion. Reception to follow.
Monday, Oct. 15 – Valuing Our People
* 10:30 a.m. – "WVU Pride," Vandalia Lounge, Mountainlair – Join the conversation with President Mike Garrison in his final forum in the series focusing on issues critical to WVU.
* 6 p.m. – "Why I Teach…," Blaney House – Join students, faculty and staff as a selected panel discusses its motivation in higher education at WVU. A reception will follow.
Tuesday, Oct. 16 – Serving Our State
* 8-9:30 a.m. – Military Appreciation Breakfast, Mountainlair ballrooms – WVU will be honoring those who have served and are serving our country. Participants will enjoy breakfast while hearing the stories of veterans and service men and women from around the area.
* 1-4 p.m. – Blood drive, Mountainlair Ballrooms
Wednesday, Oct. 17 – Launching Research and Discovery
* 9-11 a.m. – Student Research Poster Session, National Research Center for Coal and Energy, Evansdale Campus.
* 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. – Women of Color Luncheon, Mountainlair Ballrooms – This annual Diversity Week tradition will feature speaker Sarah Culberson, who was adopted by a Morgantown family in the 1970s and discovered that she was an African princess while seeking out her birth parents.
* 2:30 p.m. – Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center Panel Discussion, Fukushima Auditorium, Health Sciences Learning Center – Listen to leading WVU researchers as they report on the great strides made in cancer research.
Thursday, Oct. 18 – Changing Lives
* 4 p.m. – Young Alums in the Classroom: "How WVU Changed My Life" – WVU alumni are coming home to share their success with current WVU students stories with current WVU students. They will visit Garrison's political science class and share their stories of how WVU has changed their lives.
Friday, Oct. 19 – Coming Home
* 1-2:30 p.m. – Inauguration ceremony, Woodburn Circle – Join the inauguration of West Virginia University's 22nd President, Mike Garrison.
* 2:30 p.m. or immediately following ceremony – Inauguration celebration, Mountainlair Plaza – Join other members of the WVU family as they celebrate the inauguration of Garrison. Open to all students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members, this event will feature light refreshments and music.
* 6:30 p.m. – Homecoming Parade, High Street – An annual homecoming tradition, the parade features WVU student organizations, athletic teams and the "Pride of West Virginia" Mountaineer Marching Band. Morgantown-area businesses and community organizations will also participate. WVU men's basketball coach Bob Huggins will serve as the parade's grand marshal.
Saturday, Oct. 20 – Reuniting with Friends
* Noon – WVU football vs. Mississippi State, Milan Puskar Stadium
Sunday, Oct. 21 – Celebrating Community
* 11 a.m. – Community Open House: WVU and Morgantown Give Back, Blaney House – Join the Garrisons at their home in celebrating the spirit of volunteering. The WVU Center for Civic Engagement will also sponsor a volunteer fair to link guests with a variety of volunteer opportunities. A light brunch menu will be available.
The Friday, Oct. 19 inauguration ceremony is open to the public. Seating on Woodburn Circle is limited and will be reserved for ceremony participants. Reserved seating will be released to the general public at 12:45 p.m.
A large LCD screen in Woodburn Circle also will project inaugural images to those viewing the ceremony from afar.
Afternoon classes on the Morgantown campus have been canceled on the 19th, beginning with those starting at noon, according to the Office of the Provost.
In the event of rain, Friday's events will be moved to the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre at the WVU Creative Arts Center. Updates and additional details on the events and activities planned during Inauguration Week will be posted to the inauguration site, http://www.inauguration.wvu.edu A webcast of the inauguration ceremony also will be available at that site.
Garrison became the 22nd president of WVU on Sept. 1, 2007. A respected public servant and immediate past chair of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, Garrison, 38, was elected to the WVU presidency April 13, 2007, by members of the WVU Board of Governors, with the consent of the Higher Education Policy Commission.