Winthrop to ceremoniously install Comstock on Friday

03/27/2014 11:04 PM

03/28/2014 7:14 AM

Winthrop University’s installation of its newest president on Friday will include some of academia’s oldest traditions.

The school’s investiture ceremony for its 10th president, Jamie Comstock, is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m., with a processional of Winthrop’s faculty members and delegates from other colleges and universities.

University inaugurations are largely ceremonial events, with presidents having already been in office for some time, ranging from several weeks to one year. Comstock is the seventh president at Winthrop to be a part of inaugural festivities. Three past Winthrop presidents opted to skip the tradition.

Friday’s event will include a speech from Comstock, various musical selections, the introduction of special guests and a reception on campus.

A top inauguration symbol is that of the presidential medallion. Winthrop’s medallion is made of bronze and boasts the university’s seal on the front. Only the university’s president wears the medallion.

Winthrop has billed Comstock’s inauguration as a celebration of “a visionary and inspirational leader,” who has “identified the university’s true north as the intersection of quality and access in the bright sky of public higher education.”

During this afternoon’s investiture ceremony, Comstock is expected to outline her vision for Winthrop after settling into her job for the past eight months.

Comstock took office last summer after Winthrop trustees unanimously selected her to succeed longtime president and now President Emeritus Anthony DiGiorgio.

She and her husband Larry Williamson moved into the president’s house on campus last year with their Chesapeake retriever, Cocoa. Williamson is a retired Navy captain, with experience in university administration.

Before coming to Winthrop, Comstock served as director of the Executive Leadership Group at the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C. While there, she was on sabbatical from her previous role as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Butler University in Indianapolis.

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