UO president's investiture ceremony set for May 30

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Two things everyone at the University of Oregon should know about investiture: it's a Latin term that means "in dress" or "in robe." And it will take place at the UO on May 30.

The investiture of Michael Gottfredson as the UO's 17th president will be at 2 p.m. in Matthew Knight Arena, with a reception to follow in the Ford Alumni Center. The entire community is invited.

Investiture is a formal ceremony marking the installation of a new president at most universities and many other long-standing institutions. It marks the transfer of authority associated with a high office from one person to another.

For instance, new justices on the U.S. Supreme Court are invested with their office.

Professors and others are typically encouraged to participate in investiture ceremonies by wearing full academic regalia. Reservation information for those wanting to participate in the investiture is available now online.

Former UO President Dave Frohnmayer, at his 1996 investiture, described the event as "an ancient and important ritual in the life of the academy."

"This link from our past to our future represents simultaneously the strengths of this civilization's last surviving medieval institution and our most revolutionary modern one," he said.

It is not unusual for investiture ceremonies to take place several months after a new president takes office. Richard Lariviere, who succeeded Frohnmayer in July 2009, celebrated his investiture in May 2010.

Gottfredson began work at the UO last August, succeeding Bob Berdahl, who served in the role as an interim for about eight months. Berdahl was the university's eighth interim president.

Of the UO's previous 16 permanent presidents, Prince Lucien Campbell served the longest – 23 years, from 1902 to 1925. The others served between 2 ½ and 17 years.