NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.– Westminster College made history on Friday inside Orr Auditorium with the inauguration ceremonies for President Kathy Brittain Richardson.
It featured plenty of applause, bright blue and white balloons, visiting delegates from rival institutions, and plenty of pomp and circumstance. Board of Trustees Chair Deborah Majoras declared publicly the appointment of Dr. Richardson as the new President of Westminster. Richardson also has the distinction of being the first women to lead the College.
“I am so honored to have been selected to be the 15th president and the first female president,” Richardson told the packed audience in Orr Auditorium on Friday afternoon. “It’s a great day to be a Titan.”
Richardson connected her the significance of her inauguration by connecting it Westminster’s heritage of embracing inclusiveness. She reminded the audience about Westminster’s role in American history as the first college to offer democratic access when it was founded in 1852. She praised a radical move by Westminster to open its doors to all, standing up to what the founders described as discrimination to color, cast and sex.
“The ‘We’ in Westminster was radically and profoundly inclusive. And we gather here today to celebrate that fact, but to proclaim that it forever be so.”
A week-long inauguration celebration has championed the slogan, “Putting the ‘We’ in Westminster.” President Richardson wanted her inauguration to include several events held to honor all the people who make up the Titan community on and off campus.
The President also took time to pledge herself to the vision of an inclusive, diversity and a supporting a thriving college community. She promised to tackle immediate priorities that she said she will frame under a master college plan. That plan will foster success. recruitment, stable finances, and new partnerships beyond campus.
She pointed to the upcoming announcement about a new partnership with UPMC that will launch a new nursing major next fall as one of the projects to be part of this master campus plan.
Richardson’s Priorities for a Westminster Master Plan
- Improving student recruitment and retention
- Stabilizing finances
- Prioritizing fundraising
- Launching the BSN with a UPMC partnership
- Expanding and updating science facilities
- Renovating a modernizing student housing
- New and updated athletic facilities
Watch the entire inauguration ceremony online!