University of Vermont

University Communications

E. Thomas Sullivan to Be Officially Installed as University of Vermont's 26th President on Oct. 5

Speakers will include former Vice President Mondale, University of Minnesota President Emeritus Bruininks, memoirist Hampl, Senator Sanders, Governor Shumlin

E. Thomas Sullivan will be officially installed as the University of Vermont’s 26th president at a ceremony to be held Friday, Oct. 5 at 1:30 p.m. in Ira Allen Chapel.

Guests must have a ticket and are asked to be seated in the chapel by 1 p.m. to make way for an academic procession that will precede the ceremony. The procession will be simulcast on monitors inside the chapel. Tickets for the event are no longer available. 

Before coming to UVM, Sullivan served for 15 years in leadership roles at the University of Minnesota – for eight as vice president for academic affairs and provost and seven as dean of the university’s law school -- and several prominent Minnesotans will speak about the president at the ceremony.

They include former Vice President Walter Mondale, an alumnus and benefactor of the University of Minnesota Law School who knows Sullivan well, University of Minnesota president emeritus Robert Bruininks, under whom Sullivan served, and award-winning poet, memoirist and MacArthur “Genius Award” winner Patricia Hampl, Regents Professor and McKnight Distinguished University Professor at the university. 

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Governor Peter Shumlin and UVM Board of Trustees Chair Robert Cioffi will also speak at the event. 

In his installation address, President Sullivan will present his vision of the university's future and discuss the priorities and goals of his presidency.

“This event marks a special day in the life of the university, serving as the occasion to formally invest Tom Sullivan as the president,” said Cioffi. “It also is an opportunity to reflect on our 221 year history as a university and to look forward with great anticipation and excitement to our future.”

Academic procession to precede ceremony

The academic procession preceding the ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. at the Dudley H. Davis Center and proceed along University Place to Ira Allen Chapel. The procession will include representatives from more than 60 universities and colleges, members of the University of Vermont faculty and emeriti faculty, university governance leaders, university officials, members of the board of trustees and other invited guests.  

Members of the university community not attending the ceremony are encouraged to view the procession by lining up along University Place.

Simulcasts and webcast available

The installation event and academic procession will also be simulcast on large screens at several locations on campus: Memorial Lounge in the Waterman Building and the Davis Auditorium located at Fletcher Allen Health Care adjacent to Dana Medical Library. 

The procession and ceremony will also be webcast at the following address:

Following the installation, there will be a reception on the University Green around the fountain that all members of the university and surrounding community are invited to attend.  In the event the reception moves indoors due to weather, the reception will be held in Billings Library.

Street closings and parking

University Place will be closed on Oct. 5 from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m. There is no parking allowed anywhere on University Place the day of the event. Guest parking for the installation is at the Gutterson garage with shuttle bus service available. For guests with disabilities or special needs, parking is available in the Votey Building lot. Please call (802) 656-3272 or email to make arrangements for special parking.

For more information on the installation ceremony, see