VCU to inaugurate Michael Rao after two years of leadership

Mechelle Hankerson
News Editor

President Rao visited this year's first SGA meeting to discuss his goals for the university with students, including his strategic plan, Quest for Distinction. Photo by Briana Townsend.

After two years, Michael Rao will finally be able to officially call himself VCU’s president.

On Oct. 14, VCU will inaugurate Rao as its fifth president at the Siegel Center.

VCU’s Board of Visitors set the inauguration date, and while there is usually a delay from when presidents begin performing their duties and their actual inauguration, VCU’s executive director of university relations Pam Lepley told The Richmond Times-Dispatch that there has not been a president in VCU history that has taken as long as Rao has to be inaugurated.

Keeping with the theme of taking longer than average, the President’s Office also has events planned throughout the month of October to honor Rao’s inauguration.

In addition to the official ceremony honoring Rao, this year will mark the beginning of VCU’s recognition of university scholars – undergraduate students who have completed 54 to 84 credits and showcase “outstanding academic achievement,” according to a press release.

Although the inauguration ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m., the VCU community has already started honoring Rao through a variety of activities including the largest food drive the university has participated in and a research lecture series that began Oct. 5. The last lecture of the series will be presented Oct. 18.

On Oct. 12, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held to unveil three solar arrays on the top of the N Parking Deck on the MCV campus.

The week of Rao’s inauguration will wrap with Parents Weekend and an official open-house day for prospective students on Oct. 15.

Inauguration events will continue until the end of the month, with SportsFest at the Cary Street Gym on Oct. 28 and 29 marking the end of events honoring Rao’s inauguration.

Teams of students will be able to register and compete against each other for a chance to have lunch with President Rao, among other prizes.

More information about inauguration events can be found at 2011inauguration.vcu.edu 

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