By Len La Rocca and Alanna Jenkins
Distribution Manager and Staff Writer
Under an archway of blue and yellow balloons lead the path to the Student Recreation Center, which hosted a momentous occasion in the College’s history — where Dr. Kathryn A. Foster would be inaugurated as the 16th President of the College on May 3.
Faculty, students and guests filled the seats before an elegant stage with a grand podium, two screen projections and a massive blue banner that read, “For Tradition. For Tomorrow. For TCNJ.”
In a grand ceremony, the College honored Kathryn A. Foster by inaugurating her as the school’s 16th president after a year of serving as Interim College President.
State officials, delegates from other institutions and College alumni came to the podium to speak on the momentous bestowal of the College medallion.
The Wind Ensemble performed music during the precessional, while drummers marched along in a single-file entrance of student organizations, staff and delegates in their diverse gowns representing their respective colleges.
After all were seated, the ceremony began.
Susanne Svizney (‘79), the chair of the Board of Trustees, called the ceremony to order and introduced Alyse Watson (‘20), who sang the National Anthem with help from the Wind Ensemble.
“This is indeed a great day for the College,” Svizney said. “The trustees of The College of New Jersey thank you and those attending via our live webcast for joining on this special occasion in celebrating our past, present, and future.” In attendance were former College Presidents Gitenstein and Eickhoff. Former President Brower watched from
“President Foster, you have already proved to us that you’re going to be a strong leader who will lead by example, who will bring energy to the campus, and you have already shown so much love for TCNJ,” Watson said. “So with sincere excitement and honor, I’d like to say, on behalf of the staff, thank you and welcome to The College of New Jersey.”
On behalf of the academy,Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber congratulated Foster on her achievement.“Today’s festivities celebrate jubilant new beginnings, but in many ways this is also a homecoming,” Eisgruber said.
Foster had earned her doctorate at Princeton University in public and international affairs. Eisgruber praised Foster’s research on political orders and the arrangement of local governments.
“Her research resulted in an award-winning dissertation that went on to be published by the Georgetown University Press,” Eisgruber said. “This original work established Kate as a promising academic and demonstrated her commitment to scholarship.”
Svizney then put the medallion displaying the College’s seal around Foster’s neck to wear as the College’s officially inaugurated president.
Foster then delivered her inaugural address.
“I propose to the broader community of TCNJ, campus and beyond, that we turn this challenge into an abundant opportunity to plan together,” Foster said.
Andrew Chamberlain, a freshman special education and psychology double major, expressed his excitement for Foster’s presidency.
“It’s really exciting,” he said. “I didn’t know too much about Foster, but I kinda have an idea of what she believes in
and the direction she’s taking this school.”
Foster reviewed the 164-year history of the College and poked fun at the College’s six
“The College has famously had six names and a few of you are lobbying me to change (it) to a seventh,” Foster said. “Which, for the record, is not at the top of my priority list.”
Foster closed out the grand ceremony with consideration of the past, present and future.
“I can not wait to plan with you,” she said. “To explore where we have been, where we are, and where we are going.
Here’s to three tenses at once …for tradition, for tomorrow, for TCNJ. Thank you very much.”
Following the ceremony was a campus-wide celebration to welcome the College’s new president. Throughout the Brower Student Center were different food stations including fried ravioli, meatballs and tomato pie.
Foster had her own signature drink, the “Foster Fizz,” which consisted of sparkling lemonade to toast the occasion.
There was a dessert called “Banana Foster” in honor of the newly inaugurated College president as well.
The atmosphere was upbeat with the College’s Jazz Ensemble playing various tunes from the bandstand in front of Lions’ Stadium. Attendees had the opportunity to mingle and congratulate Foster.
At the entrance of the student center were multiple students from the TCNJ Guitar Ensemble, as they played to welcome people to the event.
Several students were elated at the end of Foster’s inauguration. Megan Blakeley, a freshman
biomedical engineering major, said it was “heartwarming and
exciting to welcome (Foster).”
Danielle Silvia, a senior communication studies major, also expressed her enthusiasm
at the ceremony. “I was so excited to be a part of a great event where the whole community came together,” she said. “I can not wait to see the amazing things that the College does in the coming years.”