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“Our Graduates Will Build a Better World” President Margee Ensign Inaugurated During Homecoming Weekend

Margee+Ensign%2C+Dickinson%E2%80%99s+29th+President%2C+was+inauguarated+over+Parents%E2%80%99+and+Homecoming+weekend+after+serving+as+president+since+July+1%2C+2017.
Margee Ensign, Dickinson’s 29th President, was inauguarated over Parents’ and Homecoming weekend after serving as president since July 1, 2017.

Margee Ensign, Dickinson’s 29th President, was inauguarated over Parents’ and Homecoming weekend after serving as president since July 1, 2017.

Carl Sander Socolow '77

Carl Sander Socolow '77

Margee Ensign, Dickinson’s 29th President, was inauguarated over Parents’ and Homecoming weekend after serving as president since July 1, 2017.

Jacob Kaufhold ’21, Staff Writer

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President Margee Ensign was sworn in as the 29th president of Dickinson College on Saturday, Oct. 7 in a ceremony featuring distinguished guests including the former Vice President of Uganda and the First Lady of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Ensign, former president to the American University of Nigeria, holds a Ph.D. degree in international political economy from the University of Maryland, and has served at other educational institutions as well, including Columbia University and Georgetown University.

Ensign said at the inauguration that she “couldn’t be more excited or privileged to be the president of America’s oldest college, with a history that says ‘let’s innovate, let’s be at the frontier of knowledge, and working for the common good.’”

The inauguration included speeches given by both Ensign and Dr. Gilbert Bukenya, the former vice president emeritus of Uganda. Bukenya discussed his personal relationship with Ensign, whom he has known for 23 years. He expressed some regret that Ensign left her position at the American University of Nigeria, but remarked that she left it as an institution to last. He praised Dickinson as a “citadel of academic excellency,” and remarked that, under the leadership of Ensign, “Dickinson College is headed for a new and progressive horizon.”

Ensign’s speech spanned a variety of topics, focusing on the importance and the role of higher education for the future of the nation. She discussed the success, cooperation, competition and collision that have been the result of rapid technological development and globalization. Ensign emphasized the college’s commitment to global and community engagement, saying “Dickinson has never been an ivory tower,” and that it is a place where “students and faculty go out into the globe… to learn firsthand.” She concluded her speech, reminding the audience of the importance of an useful education, and expressing her hope that “our graduates will build a better world.” She also reviewed the accomplishments of a number of alumni. Ensign commented that, in her opinion, her speech “wasn’t really specific about where we’re headed. We’ll do that together, we’ll build these new programs together.”

Brian Keefer ’85, said that the speakers and ceremony “really helped to see how far we’ve come in terms of being a global institution, and really thinking globally…I feel that the school is very lucky to have her.” He continued, “you know, she’s got incredible energy, which shows… she’s got great relationships from the past, people really respond to her.”

Sara Johnson ’18 also hopes the energy Ensign showcased at the celebration will not be short-lived.

“I’m really excited for this new presidency I really liked how she’s only been here a couple of months and she’s already has an initiative especially focused on civic engagement so I’m very excited and welcome her presidency,” she said. “I hope we can maintain the energy throughout our community and throughout Carlisle.”

 

“The fact that she’s taking that time [to] go out and to engage with alumni, to engage with parents, to engage with people who are connected to Dickinson but aren’t necessarily here on campus… I think that speaks volumes that she’s taking that kind of time,” Keefer added.

Dean of Student Life Joyce Bylander especially appreciated the diversity of the installation’s program.

“I think the inauguration installation hit all the right notes. [From] the alumni to faculty and students, everybody was excited and hopeful and felt like we really have a new beginning and they felt really excited about that!”

The ceremony was attended by a number of dignitaries such as the ambassador from Rwanda, delegates from academic institutions including the University of Bologna, and the presidents of Lafayette College, Susquehanna University, Rosemont College and the New College of Florida, Ensign’s alma mater.

After the faculty processed in, the ceremony began with an introduction from the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Judge John Jones, ’77. Ensign then received greetings from Timothy Scott, the mayor of Carlisle, Chris Jones ’19, the president of Student Senate, and representatives of the alumni, staff and faculty of Dickinson College. The speakers all expressed great interest in working together with Ensign in the future. Bukenya then gave his address, and Ensign was cloaked in the official robes of the college. After delivering her speech, both a Christian and a Muslim prayer for peace were delivered, Chelsea Mia Pierre, ’18, presented a rendition of “Amazing Grace,” and choral students and alumni rose and sang the Alma Mater. The ceremony closed with the ringing of the bell in Denny Hall in order to commemorate the occasion.

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“Our Graduates Will Build a Better World” President Margee Ensign Inaugurated During Homecoming Weekend