On Friday, April 13, 2018, Dr. Deborah Curtis was inaugurated as the 12th president of Indiana State University. April 13 was an important day for her, as it was also her 100th day as president. Curtis is the second alum to serve as president of the university; she is also the first woman to serve in the role. So far, the job has been everything she has wanted and more, she said during her inaugural address.
The event kicked off at 1 p.m. with a musical performance by the ISU Wind and Symphony Orchestras conducted by Dr. Erik Rohde. The ISU and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Air Force ROTC Color Guard presented colors, and Grand Marshal David Malooley conducted the opening ceremony. After the Sycamore Singers’ performance of the national anthem, the ceremony began with an invocation by the Rev. Sharon Samsell of United Campus Ministries.
Ed Pease, the vice chair of the Board of Trustees and the chair of the Presidential Transition Team, welcomed the audience. After greetings from individuals from the university and guests, Jeff Taylor, the chair of the Presidential Search Committee, along with the chair of the Board of Trustees, Dave Campbell, installed Curtis as president and presented the presidential medallion.
“The roots of our university run deep,” Curtis said in her inaugural address. She credits Indiana State for her career preparation. She said is was pleased to return to ISU after working for other universities such as Illinois State University and the University of Central Missouri.
Curtis graduated from ISU with a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with specializations in secondary education and supervision of instruction.
Curtis highlighted many goals during her inauguration speech. She is focused on connecting Indiana State’s partnerships, meeting alumni and accomplishing ISU’s goal of graduating first-generation students. She has been serving the community throughout her career and believes it is important for the university to connect with its partners to serve Terre Haute and surrounding communities.
The inauguration focused on the university’s many partnerships. Curtis said she believes it is important to reach out and meet as many alums as possible. She is also a first-generation college graduate who understands the importance of the school’s pledge to assist students who are the first in their families to attend college.
Curtis said she looks forward to working with ISU’s staff through the ups and downs it may endure during her time as president: “I believe Indiana State has wonderful opportunities and difficult challenges ahead.”
Many of the staff are also excited about the prospect of working with Curtis. Taylor said that Curtis has boundless energy, a great sense of humor and a passion for working with students.
Curtis ended the ceremony with a positive proclamation: “This is Indiana State University’s time. Let’s get started!"