The future of Arkansas Tech University will change April 17 when Tech’s president announces her plan for potential change, of which she has been working on for the past 10 months. The week prior to her formal inauguration will play host to several events building up to the announcement. This will be the first time in Tech history an entire week will be set aside to formally commemorate a Tech president and an inauguration to the university.
From April 12-18, events ranging from arts to sports will be held at various times across campus to honor the inauguration of Dr. Robin Bowen, the 12th president of Arkansas Tech University and the first female president of a four-year institution in the state of Arkansas.
“It’s a new time; it’s a new president. It’s a formal ceremony that literally inaugurates Dr. Bowen,” said Julie Morgan, assistant to the president and coordinator of inauguration week.
The climax of the week will be the formal inaugural ceremony, at which Bowen will present her plan for the future of Tech.
“The tradition of an inauguration is that you wait until the end of the first year so the new president has time to assess the university, get to know the people, get to know everything about the university,” Morgan said. “At that point, the president lays out their vision for the university. You can’t do that on day one.”
The inauguration ceremony will take place April 17 at 2 p.m. on the south lawn of the Ross Pendergraft Library. During the inauguration, a musical composition commissioned from Professor of Music Philip Parker, “A Commemorative Affair,” will play before the procession of professors.
“I was inspired simply by the opportunity to contribute to this special occasion,” Parker said. “I hope it will serve as a piece that not only fits this ceremony but might also be used for other big occasions on campus.”
Faculty and staff aren’t the only people expected to make up the audience for the inauguration ceremony. Bowen herself said she would appreciate a sizable turnout from the Tech student population.
“Improving the lives of our students is at the center of everything we do as an institution, so student participation at special events is a critical and meaningful factor,” Bowen said in a statement. “I hope that many of our students will attend the inauguration ceremony. That is what would make it most meaningful to me.”