Preparations underway for Inauguration of President William G. Kelly - Christopher Newport University


President William and Mrs. Kelly pose for their official portrait at Three Oaks.

Preparations underway for Inauguration of President William G. Kelly

Weeklong celebration planned to welcome President and Mrs. Kelly

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The Christopher Newport community, dignitaries and special guests will celebrate the inauguration of William G. Kelly.

He will be inaugurated as the Sixth President of Christopher Newport University on the Great Lawn Monday, August 14th at 10 o’clock in the morning. The Board of Visitors invites the Christopher Newport community of faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents, friends and honored guests to attend the inauguration and investiture ceremony.

Board of Visitors Rector Lindsey Carney Smith, Esq. ‘01 will deliver the welcoming remarks, and additional greetings will be delivered by Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, Christopher Newport’s Student Government Association President Katelyn Bennett ‘24, and other members of the University community.

Immediately following his installation by the Board of Visitors, President Kelly will deliver his Inaugural Address, where he will chart the course for a new era at Christopher Newport.

The Wind Ensemble, which features a mix of talent from students, faculty, alumni, the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, the Air Force Band, the Army Band and Soundscapes, will perform the musical prelude. The Academic and Alumni Procession will be led by the Tidewater Pipes and Drums, and the Herald Trumpets will also perform.

Other special events are planned before and after the inauguration:

  • August 13th: The Virginia Symphony will kick off the inauguration celebration with an outdoor concert on the Great Lawn. Bring your family, friends and a blanket to enjoy a magical concert under the stars. The event begins at 7 p.m. and is free and open to all.
  • August 14 & 15: President and Mrs. Kelly will host and welcome the faculty to the start of the new academic year at the President’s Residence.
  • August 17th: Day One of Service will be held, a cherished tradition at Christopher Newport where students, faculty, and staff travel off campus and spend their day serving at service sites across the region.
  • August 18th: All are welcome at the Community of Scholars Convocation at 10:30 a.m. at the Diamonstein Concert Hall. This event formally welcomes all incoming first year and transfer students into the Christopher Newport community. All students will sign the honor code, witnessed by faculty, staff and alumni. President Kelly will also take part in this tradition as part of his formal induction into our community of honor.
  • August 18th: The Welcome Picnic will take place at noon on the Great Lawn. This festive event welcomes all incoming students, new faculty and staff, and this year, President Kelly will ring the bell to publicly signify joining the Christopher Newport community.
  • August 19th: More great music can be enjoyed on August 19th at 8 p.m. at the Diamonstein Concert Hall as Christopher Newport welcomes Virginia Beach native, singer-songwriter Alana Springsteen. This is a free, ticketed event for members of the Christopher Newport community.
  • August 20th: Light the Night will be held for students at 8:30 p.m. on the Great Lawn. The Student Government Association will host the event, which features special guest speakers and co-sponsors.

All events have rain locations. More information on President Kelly’s Inauguration and all Welcome Back Week events can be found on the Inauguration website.

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