Installation of Sidney A. Ribeau as 16th President of Howard University

Sidney A. Ribeau, Ph.D., was officially inaugurated as the 16th President of Howard University on Friday, April 17, the highlight of a weeklong celebration from April 13 to 19.

The week began on Monday with the Students First Action Planning, a cornerstone of the new president’s effort to keep the students paramount in all activities at the University.

Other activities included the opening of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center Exhibit “Abraham Lincoln: A Bicentennial Exhibition” at Founder’s Library followed later that day by “Bright Moments: A Presidential Inaugural Salute,” a concert featuring Howard University Jazz Ensemble and Afro Blue at the Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel.

Thursday’s highlights included the national conference on “Race and Emancipation in the Age of Lincoln” in partnership with the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission; the 20th Annual James A. Porter Colloquium titled “Trajectories: Discourse and Critique in African-American Art and Art of the African Diaspora;” and a special tribute to noted historian, John Hope Franklin.

The main event on Friday saw alumni, faculty, students, staff and members of the Board of Trustees gathered in a colorful ceremony in Burr Gymnasium, officially installing Ribeau as the University’s 16th President. Entertainer and activist Bill Cosby, who served as the keynote speaker, saluted the role of Howard University in national development and urged the current student body to remain true to the mission of the University even as they seek to create new ones, a theme echoed by the new president in his response. “Remember our legacy, Reclaim our legacy, Renew our legacy, we are Howard University,” Ribeau said.

Under the theme, “A Legacy Renewed” President Ribeau and Dr. Paula Whetsel-Ribeau, on Saturday, April 18, joined students, faculty, staff, alumni and residents in the LeDroit Park Community Day of Service. With the aid of 275 volunteers, the Howard community planted more than 800 pansies, adorned 45 tree boxes, and added topsoil and mulch to 30 common areas. After the day of service everyone gathered for complimentary barbeque and refreshments complete with a live performance by the Howard University Showtime Marching Band. Councilman Jim Graham presented President Ribeau with a resolution from the District of Columbia City Council officially marking April 18 the Howard University/Ledroit Park Day of Service.