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