WILMINGTON — Presidential inaugurations represent significant milestones in the life of a college or university. Accommodating the formal installation of a new president, inaugurations also serve to celebrate the institution, its history, its stakeholders and chart the pathway to the future.
Dr. Trevor M. Bates will become the 19th president of Wilmington College at an inauguration ceremony starting at 2 p.m. on March 25. The public is invited to view the proceedings via a livestream easily accessible from the inauguration page of the College’s website www.wilmington.edu/inauguration .
Bates assumed the office of the president on Jan. 1, 2021, following a national search in the wake of former President Jim Reynolds’ departure in summer 2020 to become president at Millikin University, located in his hometown, Decatur, Ill. WC’s current provost, Dr. Erika Goodwin, served as interim president between Reynolds’ departure and Bates’ arrival, distinguishing herself as the College’s first female president.
Bates is the first African American president in the institution’s 152-year history. He most recently served as vice president for academic affairs, dean of faculty and professor of health sciences at Mercy College of Ohio.
Past Board of Trustees Chair Peggy J. Sturdivent will present Bates for the installation ceremony conducted by the current Board chair, Richard Sidwell, and Kassandra Bates, the president’s wife. The president will offer the keynote address, “Together We RISE.”
The inauguration also will feature an academic procession of presidents and delegates representing numerous Ohio colleges and universities, who will enter the venue in full academic regalia alongside WC’s faculty and staff. Musical selections will be performed by Dr. Brianna Matzke, assistant professor of music, alumna Brandi James, College Chorale director Gina Beck and Tamish Bates, sister of the president.
Sidwell will preside at the program that includes greetings from persons representing various College constituencies. They include Dr. Corey Cockerill, professor of communication arts and agriculture; Chip Murdock, director of the offices of Diversity and Inclusion and Service and Civic Engagement; Brittanie Clair, president of Student Government Assn.; Carlos Stewart, a 2002 graduate representing the alumni community; Dr. Douglas Woodmansee, emeritus professor of biology representing the Wilmington Yearly Meeting; and Randy Gardner, chancellor of the Ohio Dept. of Higher Education.
Reflections will be shared by Goodwin along with Dave Weininger, provost emeritus, Heidelberg University, and Tyrone Bates, Sr., father of the president. The Rev. Kenneth V. Daniel, president and CEO of United Church Homes, will offer the invocation and benediction.