Students and faculty filled the seats of the Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Sept. 10, for President Victor’s inauguration.
Many faculty spoke about Mercyhurst’s recent success and Victor’s upstanding character.
“Being president of a university is his calling in life. Michael Victor will provide an excellent work environment that will focus on you,” Eric Evans, Director of International Admissions said.
Victor’s charged inaugural address spoke to the university as a whole as he appreciated the past and looked toward the future.
“As we gather here at the intersection of our past and our future, of our mission and our vision, of lessons learned and challenges anticipated, let us appreciate this extraordinary moment and go forward with the spirit of renewal through mercy the next 90 years.”
Victor spoke specifically with students in mind.
“Let me remind you, we are in the business of educating students, not merely to make a living, but to make a life,” said Victor. “We do not educate students to accept the world as it is, but to change the world as it could be.”
During the inauguration, Mercyhurst faculty, the Sisters of Mercy and the student body presented Victor with gifts. The faculty presented the “lamp of learning,” the Sisters gave a Celtic cross and the students granted Victor a Celtic tree, which is meant to symbolize sustainability and the responsibility of being depended upon by the students of Mercyhurst.
With a heartfelt promise, Victor assured the Mercyhurst community that he deserves these gifts.
“I promise you, as long as I’m president, we will never trade our traditions on trend. Why? We have good roots.”
While Victor was inaugurated just this week, he was appointed the 12th president of Mercyhurst on May 19, 2015. Victor explained why he waited so long to make his instatement official.
“I wanted to make sure I had something to celebrate. I wanted to not only celebrate my entrance into our school and community, but all of the changes and accomplishments that had been made last year,” Victor said.
Victor celebrated the success of many recent changes he has helped put into place on campus such as a new class schedule, core curriculum and Hurst Day. Victor’s confidence of these accomplishments in this past year rang through the Performing Arts Center.
“I maintain an unwavering confidence in the purpose and potential of this university and its role in shaping human lives, and, in turn, the future of our world,” said Victor. “No longer can we put the brakes on change. We’re part of a revolution in higher education that is rapidly accelerating.”
Time and time again, Victor has shown that he cares just as much about the students as he does the university’s success.
“I know we’re making important gains in academic excellence, enrollment, fundraising, and I’m feeling renewed sense of collegiality among all of our ranks,” said Victor. “And I am always happy to take ‘selfies’ with anyone who asks. This is a job that if you don’t like young people, you shouldn’t do it.”
Victor ended his inaugural address with the classic “thank you and carpe diem,” as the audience stood in admiration.