The making of a president
Campus prepares for inauguration of CSC President Rhine
This Arbor Day will bring not only newly-planted trees, but growth of a different kind as Chadron State College formally ushers in its eleventh president, Randy Rhine.
With new leadership comes opportunities for growth, Joyce Hardy, professor of physical and life sciences, said Wednesday.
“You have a new leader; a new outlook; new perspectives,” Hardy said. “When you get a new president, it’s a big deal. It’s an even bigger deal here as we haven’t had as high of a presidential turnover. The average time for a president is four years, so when you consider that the college is 101 years old and we’ve only had 11 presidents, it speaks to the dedication of our administration.”
Hardy likened the inauguration festivities to those of a wedding with a rehearsal dinner the day before, ceremony the day of, and then celebration after.
“We’ve partnered with Student Senate to have a barbecue the night before the inauguration,” Hardy said. “That’s a way for the campus to celebrate with Dr. Rhine in more of a family atmosphere.”
As Arbor Day is a state holiday in Nebraska, Hardy said the Nebraska State College System Office selected April 26, the last day of classes to allow legislative members to attend.
“Faculty have the ability to determine whether or not to have classes that Friday afternoon,” Hardy said. “There’s not many, but there are a few.”
The ceremony is a formal event that holds great symbolic importance, Hardy said.
“What happens during the investiture is that the board entrusts their confidence and charge that he will strengthen and lead the institution,” Hardy said.
Hardy estimated the ceremony would be a one-and-a-half to two-hour event.
“Cap Peterson is the chair of the board of trustees, so he will do the actual investiture,” said Karen Pope, director of alumni and development, who is co-chairing the inauguration committee with Hardy.
Numerous CSC groups are providing music throughout the day, Pope said.
“The Sax Quartet will be playing in the [Memorial Hall] lobby prior to the inauguration ceremony.” Sandy Schaefer, professor of music, said. “The CSC Brass Ensemble will be playing for the processional and recessional.”
The CSC Concert Choir is performing “Come, Let’s Rejoice,” by British composer John Amner, Schaefer said.
For the ceremony, Rhine invited former CSC President Janie Park to deliver the guest address prior to Rhine’s inauguration speech, Rhine said.
Following the ceremony is a public reception on the ground floor of Old Admin where students will showcase their work and provide tours of some of the building’s high-impact learning facilities, such as the Justice Studies’ mock courtroom and the Communication Arts’ The Eagle newsroom.
“Given Dr. Rhine’s focus on the students, we want to showcase student work,” Hardy said.
The display on the first floor of Old Admin might feature a wide variety of digital and physical formats, including recordings, textiles, and artwork, Hardy said.
“We’ll use whatever we’ve got that we can showcase,” she said.
A ticketed banquet and ball will cap the evening, and includes food, alcohol, dancing, and music, Hardy said. Tickets are available from the president’s office for $30 per person.
“There will be music, so we’re looking forward to seeing Dr. Rhine and his wife do their inaugural dance,” Pope said.
“The CSC Professors of Jazz are going to play some pre-dinner music,” Shaefer said. Rounding out the evening are performances by the CSC Vocal Jazz Ensemble and the CSC Birds, performing “Soul Hits from the 70s.”
“The banquet is more of a social evening,” Pope said. “There won’t be any formal ceremony, but Chancellor [Stan] Carpenter will provide greetings and introductions.”
Hardy said that students are a big part of the event, and encourages them to attend.
“It all centers around students and Dr. Rhine,” Hardy said. “I encourage the students to participate as much as they can for two reasons. One is that these events are usually geared more toward the campus than toward students; and two, they don’t happen very often. We hope it showcases our commitment to our students.”
Formal invitations have already been sent, and on-campus students will receive postcard invitations in their mailboxes, Hardy said.
Hardy said that instead of a week-long inauguration celebration with lavish trappings that is common at other institutions, CSC is saving cost by condensing the event to two days.
Hardy said ticket sales will cover a significant portion of the costs, but noted that private donors and organizations also plan to contribute.
“There are individuals and entities that have funds to spend,” Hardy said. “You have something that will be classy and reflect well on the institution, but done on a shoestring budget.”