March 3, 2021
A pivotal academic year in the history and future trajectory of Albion College is set to conclude in grand and inspiring fashion during the first week of May.
The College will formally inaugurate its 17th president, Dr. Mathew B. Johnson, on Friday, May 7, during a 3:30 p.m. outdoor ceremony on the campus Quadrangle. The event will take place over the course of three special days in Albion, beginning with Inauguration-related programming on Thursday, May 6 and featuring Commencement exercises for the Class of 2021 on Saturday, May 8. The weekend will also include a celebration of the Class of 2020, which saw their in-person Commencement become a virtual event a year ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As precautions, social distancing and face masks will be required for all events and rapid COVID-19 testing will be administered to all attendees. There also will be options for virtual viewing with all events being recorded as well.
“It has been a very long, very challenging year for so many people in this country,” said Dr. Ron Mourad, interim provost of Albion College. “And while precautions must still be maintained, it is our hope and belief that in-person celebrations can be held and, in some measure, allow us to return to something resembling normalcy. It’s been a long road, but it has been one we have traveled along together.”
The festivities get underway May 6, with the first nod toward a new future being unveiled at Albion. Highlights will include the ribbon-cutting and dedication of the new Sarah S. and Alexander M. Cutler Center for Student Success and Academic Achievement, whose physical space in Stockwell Library was completed earlier this semester; an announcement regarding the re-imagining of the Washington Gardner school building into the new Body and Soul Center; and a ribbon-cutting for the Joe and Julie Serra Wellness Center at the Dow Recreation Center.
On May 7, the highlight will be the inauguration of President Johnson, set for the traditional site on the steps of Kresge Gymnasium. Confirmed guest speakers for the occasion include Marty Nesbitt, ’85, senior partner and co-CEO of Vistria Group and board chair of The Barack Obama Foundation; Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing and PR officer of Ally Financial; and Donald P. Levy, Ph.D., director of the Siena College Research Institute.
The Quad and Kresge’s steps will remain the focus the next day as Commencement honors the Class of ’21 on May 8 at 1 p.m. (processional begins at 12:45 p.m.; guest speakers will be announced closer to the event). And planning is in the works for an on-campus celebration for the Class of ’20; details will be shared soon.
“This three-day celebration will offer a clear view of what makes Albion College a very special place, relentlessly innovative and exciting,” said Michael Harrington, ’85, chairman of the College’s Board of Trustees. “The inauguration of Dr. Johnson will allow us to ensure a very bright future for Albion College, and these gatherings both on campus and online will give us a great opportunity to recognize and thank faculty, staff and students who have had to endure so much during this pandemic. This year, especially, their collective efforts have shown what Albion has always been all about.”
For more information on the May 7 Inauguration of President Johnson, please visit albion.edu/inauguration.
For more information on the Class of 2021’s May 8 Commencement, please visit albion.edu/commencement.