OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City University will celebrate the inauguration of President Robert Henry with a series of events beginning April 3 with a worship service and a concert production of the Berlioz Requiem. The theme of the inauguration series is “Make Our Garden Grow.”
Leading figures in academia and dignitaries from far and near will gather to welcome Henry into his new role with events spanning five days, many of which are free to the public.
A special worship service will open the inauguration events at 10:50 a.m. April 3 in St. Luke’s United Methodist Church at 222 N.W. 15th St. with a sermon by Bishop Robert E. Hayes Jr. of the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church.
After the service, a group of more than 350 musicians and singers will perform the Berlioz Requiem at 4 p.m. in First Presbyterian Church at 1001 N.W. 25th St. Concert directors say the monumental undertaking is a chance-of-a-lifetime opportunity for people in Oklahoma to see a production that is rarely performed because of its complexity. Conductor Randy Von Ellefson will give a pre-performance talk at 3 p.m.
Inauguration events will move to the OCU campus April 4, when students and members of the public will gather in the Tom and Brenda McDaniel University Center at noon to help Henry celebrate his birthday.
Students will perform and exhibit their creative works from 6 to 8 p.m. April 5 in various locations on campus. OCU boasts world-class creative programs including dance, music, theater and visual arts.
The presidential installation ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. April 6 in the Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center, featuring former Miss America and OCU alumna Jane Jayroe Gamble as the master of ceremonies. Joining Henry on the platform will be Mick Cornett, mayor of Oklahoma City; Steven W. Taylor, chief justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court; Enoch Kelly Haney, former state senator and sculptor of “The Guardian” statue that tops the state capitol building; Glen D. Johnson, chancellor of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education; Ronald J. Norick, former mayor of Oklahoma City and chairman of the OCU board of trustees and other guests.
Symposia sessions will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. April 6 in the Meinders School of Business. Participants may choose from a list of topics including philanthropy, law, health, the energy industry and economics. For a list of symposia titles and panelists visit www.okcu.edu/inauguration/symposia.
A grand opening ceremony for the expanded Kramer School of Nursing will begin at 4:30 p.m. April 6. The ceremony will include the dedication of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial maquette by Glenna Goodacare.
David Brooks, columnist for The New York Times, will speak and sign books at 7:30 p.m. April 6 in the Henry J. Freede Wellness and Activity Center. The speech is part of OCU’s Distinguished Speaker Series.
Kathleen Sullivan, former dean of the Stanford Law School, will give the Quinlan Lecture at 5 p.m. April 7 to close the inauguration events.
Henry is the 17th president of OCU since the university was founded in 1904. He previously served as chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. His long-standing relationship with the university has included serving as dean of the OCU School of Law and a tenured professor of law from 1991-1994. He taught graduate and undergraduate courses at OCU and was a frequent guest lecturer.
Norick said the events surrounding the inauguration ceremony will highlight the university’s dedication to education and reputation for talent.
“These events reflect President Henry’s breadth of interests and his love of academics,” Norick said. “This will be an extremely proud time for OCU.”