UChicago community prepares to celebrate inauguration of President Paul Alivisatos

Oct. 29 ceremony at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel to be webcast live at 10 a.m.

The University of Chicago community, both on campus and across the world, is invited to celebrate the inauguration of Paul Alivisatos as its 14th president on Oct. 29.

The day’s events will begin with the traditional faculty and delegate processional, starting at 9:30 a.m. CT at the David Rubenstein Forum. The UChicago community is welcome to gather on the bridges along the Midway Plaisance to watch the procession traveling north on Woodlawn Avenue toward Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, which will host the inauguration ceremony at 10 a.m.

Although in-person attendance at Rockefeller Chapel is by invitation only, due to COVID-19 health and safety guidance, the event will be webcast live on the inauguration website. The campus community is invited to attend watch parties at Mandel Hall and Max Palevsky Cinema; the University’s Center in Beijing is also holding a watch party on Oct. 30.

As part of the program, speakers will welcome Alivisatos to the University on behalf of UChicago’s faculty, students, staff, alumni and the neighboring community. The representatives include:

  • Eve L. Ewing, assistant professor in the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice
  • Vish Venkataraman, fifth-year doctoral student in integrative biology
  • Jennifer Kennedy, director of UChicago’s Student Centers
  • Margaret Mueller, president of the University’s Alumni Board
  • Rev. Julian DeShazier, senior pastor at the University Church of Chicago

The program also will feature guest speakers Carol T. Christ, chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley; and Prof. Steven Chu of Stanford University, former U.S. Secretary of Energy.

Joseph Neubauer, chair of the University’s Board of Trustees, will deliver the official induction of Alivisatos as UChicago president. In his inaugural address, Alivisatos will share his vision for the future and how the UChicago community can work together to support and advance the goals of the University.

The ceremony will include the world premiere of a musical composition on carillon—the first time all 72 bells in the tower will ring together. Entitled “Crescat scientia; vita excolatur” in honor of the University’s motto, the work was created by Augusta Read Thomas, the University Professor of Composition, and will be played by carillonneurs Joey Brink, Joseph Min, Emily Kim and João Francisco Shida. The ceremony also will feature a performance of Thomas’ “Double Helix” for two violins; a poetry reading by Prof. Srikanth Reddy from his book, Underworld Lit; and music from the Motet Choir and the University Pipe Band.

All in-person participants and attendees to the events surrounding the inauguration will be required to follow the University’s mandatory COVID-19 protocols. For more information, including details on parking, transportation and other FAQs, visit the inauguration website.