UVM Honors Endowed Professors and Chairs at First Investiture Ceremony
- By Rick Green
For the first time in its long history, the University of Vermont paused Wednesday to specifically honor dozens of its best and brightest faculty members in a colorful ceremony for endowed chairs and professors.
“Assembled here in this beautiful Ira Allen Chapel today are some of the finest intellects, the most talented teachers, and most gifted scholars among a faculty who in total make up an extraordinary and outstanding academic community,’’ UVM president Tom Sullivan told the honorees and guests.
“They represent the pinnacle to which their colleagues can aspire,’’ Sullivan said. “I feel so strongly about the importance of outstanding nationally recognized faculty that the leadership team at the university and the UVM Foundation have committed to doubling the number of endowed faculty positions by 2019. When I arrived as president nearly two years ago, we had 53 endowed faculty positions. I am proud to say that as of this week, we have 84 endowed positions committed by our generous donors, an addition of 31 in 22 months.’’
The day, which began with a ceremonial procession from Billings Library, also recognized the donors whose generous contributions have created UVM’s endowed chairs and professorships. Gifts which create a faculty endowment help to pay for a professor’s salary, as well as enhancements to the recipient’s teaching, research and other scholarly activities using annual earnings on the donation. There are currently 84 endowed academic positions at UVM.
Fifty-one sitting professors and chairs were honored in the ceremony by their schools, colleges and departments. More than a dozen donors also were in attendance as well as students, faculty colleagues, and other members of the university community. The honorees include recently-funded endowments, such as the Steven Rubenstein Professorship for Environmental and Natural Resources, which was created in 2013 and awarded to Robert Manning, as well as the Howard Professorship of Natural History and Zoology, created in 1881 and currently held by William Kilpatrick, a professor of biology.
Each honored faculty member was presented a medallion signifying the status and distinction of their position.
This and future investiture ceremonies “will acknowledge and celebrate the stature of the endowed faculty position, one of the highest academic honors the University can bestow on a faculty member in recognition of their advancement of the academic enterprise,” said Richard Bundy, president and CEO of the University of Vermont Foundation.
Provost and senior vice president David Rosowsky presided in the ceremonial conferral of medallions to each endowed faculty incumbent.