Beck takes flight, installation official

Katharine Enoch

President Jill Beck’s installation ceremony concluded her three-day inauguration, formally confirming her position as Lawrence’s 15th president.
William O. Hochkammer Jr., chair of the Lawrence Board of Trustees, delivered the inauguration’s welcome. A succession of speeches given by Mayor Tim Hanna, Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton, John Bassett – the president of Clark College, Beck’s alma mater – and other representatives of Milwaukee-Downer College, as well as Lawrence alumni and students, supported Beck with words of commendation, encouragement, advice, and excitement. The presentation was opened and closed with readers from the Lawrence classics department.
Senior Peter Gillette swore Beck into office, confirming that she was elected unanimously. Gillette served on the search committee, which consulted administrators, faculty, and students in consideration of potential candidates.
Beck gave her speech, “Taking Flight: Exploring New Collaborations Between the Arts and Science,” in which she emphasized her desire to bridge the fields of study in order to mutually provide insight into unresolved issues. Beck pointed out figures, such as Leonardo da Vinci, who have combined the arts and sciences to more fully explore and understand the world around them. Beck also identified campus projects that work toward this collaborative goal, such as the current research being done on immune systems and choral singing experience.
When asked why she waited to hold her inauguration until a year into her tenure as president, Beck replied, “I wanted to do other things. It could wait, and getting off to a really good start in my presidency was more important.”
The installation ceremony was followed by a picnic of Main Hall Green.