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The inauguration, which marks a new era in Howard’s history, was part of a weeklong celebration that included a jazz concert and a community-wide day of service.

Pictured: President Sidney A. Ribeau, Ph.D.

Photo by Ceasar

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A Legacy Renewed: Inauguration of Howard University President Sidney A. Ribeau, Ph.D.
By Michael Olajumoke

The pomp and circumstance emanating from Burr Gymnasium on Friday, April 17, was the official installation of Sidney A. Ribeau, Ph.D., as Howard University’s 16th President. The inauguration, which marks a new era in Howard’s history, was part of a weeklong celebration that included a jazz concert and a community-wide day of service.

Faculty, staff, alumni, students and friends of the University attended the inauguration, where Ribeau reflected on the historic moment. “I am only one player in this storyline,” he said. “I am the custodian that’s been vested through the action of the Board of Trustees with the responsibility to lead, guide and to help administer with my team and with the consultation of the faculty, staff and the students at this institution. But I am just one player and this day is not just about me—it is about Howard University.”

During the ceremony Ribeau outlined his vision for the University, which includes fostering academic excellence; striving to make Howard one of the nation’s best universities in the country; maximizing the research potential and creativity that exists at Howard; and becoming more of an international university, while increasing opportunities for students to live abroad.

Actor, author and activist Bill Cosby, the guest speaker, lauded the University’s legacy, calling Howard “a beautiful jewel.”

Ribeau also reflected on the legacy and emphasized the need to expand upon it. “Our legacy is inscribed in the souls of our children. If we nurture those souls, it will create a transformation,” he said.

The series of activities included a bicentennial exhibition on Abraham Lincoln, organized by the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center; a concert featuring the Howard University Jazz Ensemble and Afro Blue; a faculty author’s reception at Founders Library; and the 20th annual James A. Porter Colloquium on African-American Art. The late John Hope Franklin, a distinguished scholar, civil rights advocate and former Howard professor, was also honored during the week. The festivities culminated with the LeDroit Park Community Service Day on Saturday and a call to chapel on Sunday with the Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale, senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Ga., delivering the address.

A webcast of the inauguration of President Ribeau is available to watch at http://www.howard.edu/ribeau-inauguration/demo.htm.


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