Presidential Inauguration

A message from President Martin regarding inaugural events — March 10, 2020


Dear Wagner Community,

From the moment of my appointment in July 2019, I have been looking forward to my formal inauguration as Wagner’s nineteenth president, viewing this event as an opportunity to bring attention to Wagner itself and its bright promise for future contributions to the world.  With great creativity, members of our inaugural planning committee have designed a series of events that would celebrate our beloved College and help it pivot toward the future.  Those plans have advanced beautifully.  But now they have been interrupted by circumstances beyond our control.  I am writing today to communicate that I have determined to defer the inauguration events, previously scheduled from March 31 through April 4, until next fall.  Two main reasons drive this decision.

The first reason is simple. At this time, we need our staff and faculty focused on the time-sensitive and quickly evolving work of planning for and dealing with the impacts of the Covid-19 spread in the U.S.  This is an all hands-on deck moment.  Given current demands, not to mention anxieties and uncertainties circulating nationally, we need to defer these events until we are in a less stressful time.

Second, the timing of the inauguration is completely flexible.  It’s common for presidents of colleges and universities to be inaugurated within a few months of their appointment or even a year or more later.

For eight months now, Jan and I have been getting to know the culture and people here and we have come to love Wagner College.  I have also spent considerable time and effort initiating strategic work and have started developing a compelling vision for our future in collaboration with our board, alumni, faculty, staff, and students.  That work will be even more ripe and ready this fall.  When the inauguration occurs, we will evoke our proud heritage and celebrate our warm and caring community in New York while also pivoting Wagner College toward an ambitious and even more impactful future.  I look forward to that day!

In the meanwhile, rest assured, your president, faculty, board, and staff will keep doing all we can to keep Wagner strong, safe, and ready for great things ahead.

With respect and appreciation,

Joel W. Martin, Ph.D.
Wagner College