Indiana University of Pennsylvania celebrates start of 26th president's tenure

| Saturday, April 27, 2013, 12:09 a.m.

Newly installed Indiana University of Pennsylvania President Michael Driscoll urged an audience of more than 300 people Friday to tell the university's story because the world needs to know about IUP.

“We must raise the visibility of this great place, and we must work together to tell everyone. We should and must be proud of what we do,” Driscoll said in his inaugural address. “Our future and our reputation depend on us doing just a little shameless bragging.”

The university celebrated the beginning of Driscoll's tenure as its 26th president in an inauguration ceremony on campus.

The university's Council of Trustees maintains the “utmost confidence” in Driscoll, Chairwoman Susan Delaney said.

“He embraces our unique qualities,” Delaney said. “And he will lead our faculty, administration, students, alumni and supporting community to the highest level of accomplishment.”

Driscoll has served as university president since July 2012 and since has hired a new provost, introduced a strategic vision and invited every constituency to offer its dreams for the university, according to a news release.

Prior to joining IUP, Driscoll served as provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He worked in several administrative positions at Portland State University in Oregon.

Before focusing on his plans for the university's future, Driscoll's inaugural address harkened back to the region's history, a land he said people traversed well before IUP's founding in 1875.

Though the university will continue to expand instructional technology, students are successful because of “face-to-face education,” Driscoll said.

“We learn and grow best in a community of scholars that provides common rallying points in and out of the classroom,” Driscoll said.

He encouraged the university to develop sustainable natural resources and to strive to find solutions for world issues such as violence. Expert research here can prove meaningful to all, he said.

“Western Pennsylvania needs IUP,” he said. “Its citizens need our university's expertise to create a better life for everyone.”

Within Indiana County, IUP is the “most diverse entity,” he said.

Representatives of the university community presented Driscoll with gifts, including a donation to a student scholarship fund, a painting titled “Career-driven Life” by an alumnus, and a poem titled “The Last Wall,” written by student Clare Welsh.

Among the pomp and circumstance were performances by a Native American artist, a Civil War-style drummer and the university's percussion ensemble.

Jonathan Mack, a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Board of Governors, called Driscoll “the consummate team player” who is driven by “selflessness and a genuine concern for others.”

“The bottom line is this: Mike Driscoll … has already proven himself to be an exceedingly good man with a huge heart and a humble spirit whose DNA is saturated with heavy concentration of common sense, integrity, honesty and depth of character,” Mack said.

Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646.

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