PRESIDENTIAL INVESTITURE

President Cantwell

Elizabeth R. Cantwell
17th President of Utah State University

April 12, 2024
5:00 - 6:30 pm, Newel & Jean Daines Concert Hall
Reception following, Merrill-Cazier Library

The Utah Board of Higher Education, the Utah State University Board of Trustees and Utah State University hope you will join us in our statewide celebration.

ABOUT THE INVESTITURE

An investiture is a formal academic ceremony conferring the authority and symbols of high office, which has symbolized the pursuit of knowledge since the Middle Ages. It is held during a new president’s first year in office or at the conclusion of the first year. Today, universities view the investiture ceremony as an opportunity to welcome a new era and celebrate as a community.

The installation of a new president is a ceremony of dignity with many academic traditions and protocols.  It includes an academic procession of delegates from other colleges and universities, as well as the institution’s faculty. Marchers wear the colorful academic regalia of their own alma mater.

Procession & Historical Symbols 

Schedule of Events

Monday, April 8

Come celebrate with us.

All Week

Presidential Gifts Display
Lower Level, Merrill-Cazier Library

All Week

All Week

Arab-American Heritage Month Display
Pop-Up Gallery, Merrill-Cazier Library
 - Exhibit Details

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Bachelor of Fine Arts Capstone Exhibition
Tippetts & Eccles Galleries
- Exhibit Details

11:30 am - 1:00 pm

D. Wynne Thorne Career Research Award Lecture
Presented by David Tarboton
New Books Lounge, Merrill-Cazier Library
- Lecture Details

7:30 pm

Tuesday, April 9

Come explore with us.

All Week

Presidential Gifts Display
Lower Level, Merrill-Cazier Library

All Week

All Week

Arab-American Heritage Month Display
Pop-Up Gallery, Merrill-Cazier Library
 - Exhibit Details

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Bachelor of Fine Arts Capstone Exhibition
Tippetts & Eccles Galleries

9:30 am - 4:30 pm

Student Research Symposium
Merrill-Cazier Library
- Symposium Details

7:00 pm

7:00 pm

Wednesday, April 10

Come learn with us.

All Week

Presidential Gifts Display
Lower Level, Merrill-Cazier Library

All Week

All Week

Arab-American Heritage Month Display
Pop-Up Gallery, Merrill-Cazier Library
 - Exhibit Details

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Bachelor of Fine Arts Capstone Exhibition
Tippetts & Eccles Galleries

9:30 am - 4:30 pm

Student Research Symposium
Merrill-Cazier Library
- Symposium Details

2:00 - 3:30 pm

7:30 pm

Thursday, April 11

Come walk with us.

All Week

Presidential Gifts Display
Lower Level, Merrill-Cazier Library

All Week

All Week

Arab-American Heritage Display
Pop-Up Gallery, Merrill-Cazier Library
 - Exhibit Details

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Bachelor of Fine Arts Capstone Exhibition
Tippetts & Eccles Galleries

11:00 am - 1:00 pm

Hello Walk
Student Alumni Association Event
Old Main to Huntsman Hall
- Hello Walk Tradition

5:00 pm

Communitas Lecture Series
Filmmaker Evangeline Griego
Russell/Wanlass Performance Hall
- Lecture Details

7:30 pm

"L'elisir d'amore"
Utah State Opera
Caine Lyric Theatre
- Opera Details

Friday, April 12

Come make history with us.

All Week

Presidential Gifts Display
Lower Level, Merrill-Cazier Library

All Week

All Week

Arab-American Heritage Display
Pop-Up Gallery, Merrill-Cazier Library
 - Exhibit Details

*Statewide Campus
All Day

Blanding Campus - Service Project
USU Blanding, HSL Parking Lot

*Statewide Campus
8:00 am

Blanding Campus - Medicine Man
USU Blanding, Hogan outside Administrative Building
- Will be broadcast via AggiecCast

9:00 am - 7:00 pm

Bachelor of Fine Arts Capstone Exhibition
Tippetts & Eccles Galleries
- Exhibit Details

9:00 am - 7:30 pm

5:00 pm - 12:00 am

End of Year Bash
USUSA
Field House, Taggart Student Center, Quad
- Event Details

5:00 pm

Presidential Investiture Event
Newel & Jean Daines Concert Hall

 Guest Information

  Event Program

  Livestream
If you are unable to attend the investiture in person, join the celebration through a watch party at one of our statewide campuses.

 

Reception
Main Lobby, Merrill-Cazier Library
Unveiling of new Aggie Ice Cream flavor in honor of President Cantwell.

7:00 pm

Science Unwrapped
Energy Transformations: Earthquakes & Hot Rocks
Eccles Science Learning Center Auditorium
- Presentation Details

7:30 pm

"L'elisir d'amore"
Utah State Opera
Caine Lyric Theatre
- Opera Details

7:30 pm

"The Tempest"
Utah State Theatre
Morgan Theatre
- Production Details

11:59 pm

True Aggie Night
Block A
- True Aggie Tradition

Saturday, April 13

Come serve with us.

10:00 am - 3:00 pm

1:00 & 7:30 pm

Utah State Theatre
"The Tempest"
Morgan Theatre
- Production Details

7:30 pm

"L'elisir d'amore"
Utah State Opera
Caine Lyric Theatre
- Opera Details

 

ABOUT PRESIDENT ELIZABETH R. CANTWELL

Elizabeth (Betsy) R. Cantwell became Utah State University’s 17th president on August 1, 2023.

President Cantwell plans to strengthen the 135-year USU land-grant mission by creating a modern interpretation that is deeply rooted in the core values of the state of Utah, amplifying our unique identity, and addressing the challenges and opportunities of the present era.

View President Cantwell's Transition Plan

President Elizabeth Cantwell

Before coming to USU, she was the senior vice president for research and innovation at the University of Arizona, where she was responsible for an $825 million annual research portfolio; the 1,268-acre UA Tech Park, one of the nation’s premier university research parks; and a research and innovation enterprise that spanned 20 academic colleges with locations across Arizona, 12 university-level centers and institutes, and other major research-related affiliated organizations conducting classified and contractual work.

She also devoted time to student-athlete focused programs and projects, believing that athletics programs have power to help land-grant universities serve the public and raise awareness of the good these institutions do in communities.

Cantwell previously served as Arizona State University’s vice president for research development and CEO of the ASU Research Enterprise. She led an organization of 150 and grew the overall research enterprise at ASU from $435 million to $680 million over three years, and in her CEO role, she grew the applied research entity from no contracts to $15 million in annual awards.

Before her work in university research leadership, she served the U.S. national security mission as the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s director for economic development and director for engineering mission strategy, and earlier as the deputy associate director for global security at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where she worked with the U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense, the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and NASA.

Cantwell is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School (MBA, 2003); the University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, 1992); and the University of Chicago (BA, Human Behavior 1976).

A member of the National Academy of Sciences Engineering and Medicine’s Committee on NASA Critical Workforce, Technology & Infrastructure, Cantwell participated in its most recent Academy Strategic Planning Committee. She has served as the co-chair of the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board and as a member of several National Academies studies in space science, space systems engineering, National Laboratories operations, and advanced manufacturing. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in industrial science and technology. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the managing entity for the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory.

Read more about President Cantwell 

USU HISTORY & LEGACY

ABOUT UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY

During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act to fund the establishment of a new college in each state and territory. These schools were to promote higher education and practical learning to people of all classes and walks of life, especially rural life. In 1888, the Agricultural College of Utah was founded as the state's land-grant institution.

Though it grew to become Utah State University in 1957, the university has remained true to its roots as an institution dedicated to the land and its people. With the land-grant distinction, USU has the responsibility to "educate the state," and it continues to maintain a presence in every county in Utah. Through academic and research prowess, athletic success, and unparalleled student experience, USU's rich history and traditions color who we are today.

Meet Utah State 


PAST PRESIDENTS OF UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY

Jeremiah W. Sanborn
1890 - 1894

Joshua H. Paul
1894 - 1896

Joseph "Jay" M. Tanner
1896 - 1900

William J. Kerr
1900 - 1907

John A. Widstoe
1907 - 1916

Elmer George "E.G." Peterson
1916 - 1945

Franklin S. Harris
1945 - 1950

Louis L. Madsen
1950 - 1953

Henry A. Dixon
1953 - 1954

Daryl Chase
1954 - 1968

Glen L. Taggart
1968 - 1979

Stanford Cazier
1979 - 1992

George H. Emert
1992 - 2000

Kermit L. Hall
2001 - 2005

Stan L. Albrecht
2005 - 2017

Noelle E. Cockett
2017 - 2023


THE PROCESSION & HISTORICAL SYMBOLS

The Procession

This is a ceremonial event wherein faculty, graduates, and often dignitaries march in a prescribed order to mark the beginning of academic events such as commencement, investitures, and other academic ceremonies. Participants traditionally wear academic regalia and carry symbols representing their disciplines or institutions. The procession is a time-honored tradition, symbolizing the continuity and unity of academia.

The Mace

The history of academic maces dates back to their origins as weapons of war, depicted in ancient Egyptian art. Over time, they were used by campus officials in the Middle Ages to maintain order. Today, university maces primarily serve as symbolic representations of traditions, commonly appearing at solemn events like commencement ceremonies. This symbolism reflects the profound academic journey of students, paralleling the significance of the commencement ceremony itself, which celebrates beginnings and the promise of personal growth through education.

Investiture Symbols

Ceremonial Mace

Utah State University’s mace, with its lantern-like head marked with an ‘A,’ serves as a ceremonial beacon inspired by the Luminary ceremony and the tradition of lighting the ‘A’ atop Old Main. While modern, the mace’s enduring design incorporates several elements symbolizing the history and values of Utah State University. At the top of the mace sits a marble known as an Aggie, reminiscent of our institution’s early days as the state’s agricultural college. The mace’s design includes two beehives — one near the top and another at the base — symbolizing the industriousness and vitality of the Beehive State. Depictions of the Aggie bull adorn each corner of the lantern, symbolizing the strength, diligence, and resilience of Utah State Aggies. Below the inscription of ‘USU’ on the mace’s head, thistle vines intertwine, evoking USU’s agricultural heritage as the state’s land-grant university. Situated at the base of the mace’s light is Utah’s state flower, the Sego Lily, serving as a symbol of the resilience and resourcefulness ingrained in the Aggie family. The mace’s twisted handle represents the staircase found on Old Main Hill and symbolizes progress, growth, and discovery. At the handle’s base lies the university seal, reflecting the three pillars of our foundation as a land-grant institution: research, public service, and teaching. Utah State University’s mace stands as a powerful embodiment of the institution’s rich history, enduring values, and commitment to guiding Aggies toward a bright and prosperous future.

Our deepest appreciation to Joe Needham of S.E. Needham Jewelers and Professor Dennis Hassan and Dean Nicholas Morrison from the Utah State University Caine College of the Arts for their artistic vision and attention to detail in designing and creating the mace.

USU Mace

Ceremonial Medallions

The presidential medallion plays a pivotal role in the inauguration of a new university president, symbolizing the transfer of authority and marking the commencement of their tenure. Laden with historical and cultural significance, these medallions often feature designs reflecting the university’s values, traditions, and heritage, aligning with other elements of academic regalia like the mace. Worn during official university events, the medallion visually signifies the president’s leadership role and underscores their connection to the institution’s history and values, serving as a tangible representation of academic excellence and institutional governance.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to O.C. Tanner for their collaboration  and impeccable work designing and producing the presidential medallion.

Presidential Medallions

The Regalia

Academic regalia traces its origins back to medieval Europe, when scholars wore robes as a symbol of their status and profession. Over time, these garments evolved into the elaborate caps, gowns, and hoods worn by graduates and faculty in modern universities, reflecting tradition, prestige, and academic achievement. The presidential regalia for today’s investiture includes a ceremonial gown in Utah State University’s institutional colors. The gown is distinguished by Aggie blue velvet panels and showcases two University seals embroidered in silver, representing the institution’s core values, history, and mission. Additionally, it features a fourth chevron denoting the rank of the office and bell sleeves signifying doctoral status. The enduring design of the presidential regalia signifies the authority and dignity of the academic presidency within our institution.

Gowns

The academic gown for the bachelor’s degree has pointed sleeves and is designed to be worn closed. Master’s degree gowns have an oblong sleeve, open at the wrist. The sleeve base hangs down in the traditional manner. The rear part of its oblong shape is square cut, and the front part has an arc cut away. It is designed this way so it can be worn open or closed. The gown for the doctoral degree has bell-shaped sleeves and may be worn open or closed.

Colors

For all academic purposes, including trimmings of doctoral gowns, edging of hoods and tassels of caps, the colors associated with the different academic disciplines are as follows:

 
Maize, Agriculture
 
Light Blue, Education and Human Services
 
Russet, Natural Resources
 
Brown, Arts
 
Orange, Engineering
 
Yellow-Gold, Science
 
Drab, Business
 
White, Humanities and Social Sciences
 
Black, School of Graduate Studies
 
Black, Associate Degrees
 
Black, Integrated Studies
Hoods

Academic hoods are worn by recipients of advanced degrees. Master’s degree hoods are three-and-one-half feet in length and lined with the official color(s) of the college or university conferring the degree, which at Utah State University are navy blue and white, displayed in the heraldic chevron. The doctoral hood consists of a larger and longer assemblage of institutional color draped over the recipient’s shoulders, falling well down the back. The binding or edging of the hoods is of velvet or velveteen, three inches wide for the master’s degree and five inches wide for the doctoral degree.

Caps

Academic caps come in two forms: the traditional mortarboard (from Oxford) or square cap; and a soft cap that resembles an oversized beret (from Cambridge). The mortarboard used by Utah State University is worn with a tassel. The color of the tassel designates the graduate’s major field of learning, and gold tassels indicate doctors and the governing officials of institutions.

View of Logan campus at sunset