Tarleton plans inauguration events for Dr. James Hurley

Blair Phillips

Guest Writer

Tarleton’s inauguration planning committee has organized a memorable week of events for students, faculty and staff to celebrate the installation of Tarleton’s 16th president, Dr. James Hurley.

The university held Dr. Hurley’s inauguration ceremony on Friday, Feb. 28, at 10 a.m. in Wisdom Gym.

“This is an important celebration for the benefit of our students and an exciting event for the community,” head of Tarleton’s Division of Institutional Advancement, Kyle McGregor, said in a Tarleton news release.

To kick off the three-day celebration, on Thursday Feb. 27, there was a Student Inauguration Celebration for Dr. Hurley held in parking lot P27, between the Science Building and Legacy Hall, from 6 to 9 p.m. The evening’s highlights included food trucks, live music by DJ Quan and country music artist Tarleton alumni Bart Crow and fireworks.

The installation ceremony on Friday consisted of a procession of faculty and staff, delegates from all over the United States, and special speakers including Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System John Sharp and several state legislators.

“It’s really a nice event and it’s one of those things you’ll probably only get to do once in a lifetime,” Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communications Cecilia Jacobs said in an interview.

Photo by Kurt Mogonye from Tarleton State University website

Dr. Hurley’s installation ceremony was open to the public.

“Anyone can attend — the public, our alumni, donors and sponsors. Particularly, we are hoping our students will come,” Jacobs added.

All classes before 1 p.m. Friday were cancelled to allow the campus community to attend.

“This is a huge celebration for the students. This is only the 16th time in our history that we’ve done this,” Jacobs said. “So this is important to our president and to faculty and staff that we involve our students.”

The gala event, titled “An Evening in Purple,” will be hosted in Wisdom Gym on Saturday, Feb, 29. The reception will begin at 6 p.m., where awards will be given to honor key individuals who have played major roles in benefiting Tarleton, including distinguished alumni, staff and friends of the university. President Hurley also will present awards based on the university’s core values.

 The gala will begin at 7 p.m.

“There will be a dance in the gym this year,” Jacobs said. “Typically, it’s been in the ballrooms, so with it being held in the gym, there will be a true dance floor. So, a bit like Cinderella’s ball I would imagine.”

This year’s gala is different from past events as it is now designed as a fundraiser to provide financial assistance for students. All proceeds will benefit scholarships for students with the greatest need.

“This black-tie event rekindles the dream of our founder and provides an opportunity to invest in students who are in the most need,” McGregor said. “For the Tarleton family to fund scholarships for these students is the most appropriate way to welcome our 16th president and demonstrate our determination to be an institution of opportunity.”

At this time gala tickets are sold out, but a waiting list is available. For more information, visit the inauguration website: https://www.tarleton.edu/inauguration.

The week of the inauguration is full of events for Stephenville campus students to attend. On Monday, Tarleton held a WellFest at Campus Recreation. Wednesday, Feb. 26, was Waffle Wednesday, an event geared toward giving more information on the inauguration events, that was held in the Thompson Student Center lobby.

All students are encouraged to attend the week’s events to show their support for Dr. Hurley.

“We’re trying to get as many students there as we can,” Jacobs said. “We would love to pack the gym out and just let our new president know how much we support him and back him.”

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