Wearing the same gown he wore to receive his doctoral degree more than 25 years ago, Dr. Daniel Johnson will be inaugurated tomorrow as the 15th president of the University of Toledo.
Dr. Johnson, formerly the provost at the University of Alaska at Anchorage, took office July 1. He replaced interim President William Decatur, who served after Dr. Vik Kapoor was forced to resign last year.
The inauguration will begin at 10 a.m. in Savage Hall with a processional of faculty, delegates from other colleges, community representatives, and others. Dr. Johnson will speak after the keynote address by Adm. Vern Clark, chief of naval operations, who is Dr. Johnson's brother-in-law.
The president said he will wear the same gown he was given as a gift by his wife, Elaine, to receive his doctorate in rural sociology from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1973.
About 4,000 invitations were sent out for the inauguration, which is open to the public. The ceremony will be followed by an open reception in Savage Hall's east lobby.
The university will spend about $80,000 for the event, which will be funded by the UT Foundation and the alumni association, said Joan Uhl Browne, a university trustee who led the inauguration steering committee.
She said the focus of the event will be engagement with the community, one of Dr. Johnson's top priorities. More than 400 community partners were invited to the ceremony, and more than 100 of them will march in the processional, she said.
UT's last presidential inauguration was for Dr. Kapoor in 1999. It began with a week of events, including a Toledo Symphony performance, an inauguration ceremony broadcast on the Internet, and an invitation-only luncheon. It cost nearly $137,000.
“I think each time you do this, you have to plan what's fitting for the situation at the time,” Ms. Browne said. “This is kind of the way that Dr. Johnson is. He's pretty down to earth.”
This year's inauguration will be followed at 2 p.m. by UT's homecoming parade - including the Navy Drum and Bugle Corps - tailgate parties, and a football game against Navy at 7 p.m.
Several roads will be closed for two hours beginning at 2 p.m. for the parade. They are the northbound lane of Secor Road, between Towerview Boulevard West and West Bancroft Street; West Bancroft between Secor and Cheltenham Road; Cheltenham between West Bancroft and Kenwood Boulevard; Kenwood between Cheltenham and Middlesex Drive, and Middlesex between Kenwood and West Bancroft.
Three alumni from the University of Toledo will be honored for service to the university, community, and their fields at UT's homecoming dinner tonight.
James R. Findlay, Sr., co-founder and chairman of Impact Products, Inc., in Sylvania Township, will receive the Gold T Award. He graduated with a business degree in industrial management in 1948 and helped found UT's Family Business Center.
Michael J. Todak, a principal with LaValley, LaValley, Todak & Schaefer Co. LPA in Sylvania, will be given the Blue T Award. He received a business degree from UT in 1979 and a law degree in 1982. He is a former president of the UT Alumni Association.
The winner of the Outstanding Young Alum Award is Bradford J. Rogers. He owns and operates Bradford Marketing Associates in Cincinnati and graduated in 1998 with a degree in public relations.