Miller’s installation to celebrate tradition, new era for UW-Green Bay
Campus and community will come together at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay to celebrate academic tradition and welcome a new era in school history with the formal investiture of the University’s sixth chancellor, Gary L. Miller.
The installation ceremony at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14 at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts is free and open to the public.
The centerpiece of the event will be an address by the new chancellor in which he sets forward a shared vision of UW-Green Bay’s future with an emphasis on innovation, community partnership and student learning. He will also reflect on the University’s past and suggest ways UW-Green Bay can build upon existing strengths and pursue new initiatives to position itself as a leader in an era of rapid change for American higher education.
Miller assumed his duties Aug. 1 after serving previously as chancellor of the University of North Carolina Wilmington. The UW System announced his appointment in June following a nationwide search to identify a successor to outgoing UW-Green Bay Chancellor Tom Harden
Friday’s ceremony will fill the Weidner Center’s Cofrin Family Hall with pomp and pageantry long associated with major academic gatherings. It will highlight campus traditions specially adapted for UW-Green Bay, which next year marks 50 years since its founding in 1965.
Heading the list of ceremony participants will be UW System President Ray Cross, who will issue the leadership charge and present to Miller his symbol of office, the UW-Green Bay Chancellor’s Medallion. Various special guests will offer greetings from the city, the state, students, staff, faculty and alumni. Featured speakers include UW System Regent President Michael J. Falbo, Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt and longtime paper industry executive Lou LeCalsey of Green Bay, who will represent the UW-Green Bay Foundation Board and Chancellor’s Council of Trustees as chairman.
The installation begins with an academic procession of about 175 faculty members, alumni and delegates representing UW-Green Bay as well as sister UW System institutions, local partner schools including St. Norbert College, and colleges and universities from across the Midwest and beyond. Those processing will be attired in robes and regalia that reflect their fields of study and their alma maters’ school colors. Their order in the processional is determined by the founding years of the institutions they represent; among those at or near the head of the line will be local alumni of Yale, Princeton and Brown University, founded in 1701, 1746 and 1764, respectively.
Prominently figuring in the ceremony will be the University Mace. It will be carried to the stage by UW-Green Bay’s most senior faculty member, Kumar Kangayappan, a distinguished economist and Green Bay professor since 1968. The tradition dates to the Middle Ages, when a mace bearer would use a staff to protect the leader of a kingdom, cathedral or university.
The mace holds in its handle a parchment document bearing the signatures of each of the five previous chancellors: the late Edward Weidner (who served from 1966 to 1986) and David Outcalt (1986-93), Mark Perkins (1994-2001), Bruce Shepard (2001-2008) and Harden (2009-14). The scroll will be removed during the investiture so that Miller can add his signature to the statement in support of UW-Green Bay’s academic mission. He will then deliver his installation address.
A prelude concert before the 2 p.m. ceremony will feature choral music by the UW-Green Bay Chorale, a select student group under the direction of Associate Prof. Randall Meder. The Wind Ensemble conducted by Associate Prof. Kevin Collins will provide instrumental music for the processional and recessional. Vocalist Courtney Sherman of the Music faculty will perform The Star-Spangled Banner and the UW-Green Bay Alma Mater, respectively.
A reception in the Weidner Center’s Grand Foyer, made possible by private donations to the University, will follow the ceremony.
Before his tenure as Wilmington’s chancellor, Miller was provost and vice president for academic affairs and research at Wichita State University (2006-11) and dean of the College of the Pacific, the arts and sciences college at the University of the Pacific (2002-06. He was previously a professor and chair of the biology department at the University of Mississippi — where he co-authored the widely used textbook Ecology — and a faculty member at Weber State and Mississippi State universities.
Miller holds a Ph.D. in biological sciences from Mississippi State and master’s and bachelor’s in biology from the College of William and Mary. A native of Rockingham County, Virginia, Miller is married to Georgia Nix Miller. The couple has three adult children.
UW-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution located on the bayshore in Green Bay, Wis. The more than 6,500 students choose from a broad array of academic programs in business, education, the professions and the arts and sciences.