Kim Cassidy Inaugurated As Bryn Mawr’s Ninth President

Posted September 25th, 2014 at 4:39 pm.


Click the above image to see a full gallery of photos

Echoing her comments at Convocation earlier this month, Bryn Mawr President Kim Cassidy closed her inauguration speech by calling on the Bryn Mawr community to “take every opportunity to inject creativity and joy into what we do.”

However, there was no need for prodding last weekend as Bryn Mawr students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumnae/i, friends, and family gathered to inaugurate Cassidy as Bryn Mawr’s ninth president.

Inauguration weekend officially got underway on Friday when a number of faculty members and students teamed up to present a series of “KIM (Knowledge, Innovation, Momentum) Talks.” Styled after the TED talks, the presentations examined research in health studies, geology, genetics, and Byzantine art.

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Saturday’s activities began just before noon with the procession of alumnae/i, faculty, former Bryn Mawr presidents, and special guests in academic regalia making their way into the tent on Merion Green, where the ceremony took place.

The hundreds gathered roared and an Anassa Kata rang out as Cassidy entered and made her way to the stage.

The ceremony was led by Board of Trustees Chair Arlene Gibson ’65 and featured brief comments from representatives from throughout the campus community, including the faculty, students, and alumnae/i. The presidents of Haverford and Wellesley colleges, as well as Swarthmore’s provost, also greeted Cassidy. David W. Oxtoby, president of Pomona College and a Trustee Emeritus of Bryn Mawr, gave the main remarks.

After Oxtoby’s remarks, Cassidy was formally installed as president by Gibson and gave her inaugural address, in which she talked about Bryn Mawr’s many strengths.

“We are an unusual and wonderful place, a mix of traditions and innovations, dedicated to the pursuit of a distinctive and essential academic mission, now and into the future,” Cassidy told the crowd.

She also spoke of the challenges that lay ahead for Bryn Mawr and other liberal arts colleges, particularly the push for greater assessment.

“We are being asked to prove our broad social value in more direct, concrete ways than ever before,” Cassidy said. “We are being asked to measure things that previously were thought to be unmeasurable. And we will meet that challenge head-on. We will be proud, up-front, and savvy about demonstrating the ongoing value of our unique graduate and undergraduate educational environments that provide unparalleled opportunities for intellectual exchange and growth.  We will be unafraid to measure what we do. If anyone can measure graduates’ ability to lead examined, purposeful, and fulfilling lives of learning and personal growth, it’s Bryn Mawr.”

Another Anassa Kata filled the tent as Cassidy closed the ceremony and the formal gave way to the festive as everyone moved to the greens in front of Erdman Hall and the Wyndham Alumnae House for music, food, and fun.

A cover band played the hits while dining options included Philadelphia staples such as cheesesteaks and Tastykakes. There were also farmstand and bakery items from Chester County, where Cassidy grew up.

Later in the evening, Cassidy joined students at Thomas Great Hall for an 80s dance party.

Photos from the day can be seen in this online gallery. Visit Storify to see the day unfold via social media.

Filed under: ceremonies,Events,KC,president,Trustees Tags: by mgray

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