Auburn University President Christopher B. Roberts spoke of his aspirations for the future of the land-grant institution at his official Presidential Installation ceremony at the Jay and Susie Gogue Performing Arts Center on Thursday afternoon.
With Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey — an Auburn alumna and president of the Auburn University Board of Trustees — and several other dignitaries looking on, Roberts was thankful, humbled and inspired while giving his remarks at the special celebration.
“What an overwhelming feeling,” said Roberts, who began serving as Auburn’s 21st president on May 16, 2022. “Gov. Ivey, thank you for your support of Auburn, and I really want you to know how honored I am to have this position. In this role, I’m often asked what the Auburn Family means to me, and it means everything.
“The Auburn Family and the spirit we have on this campus is a true mark of distinction. As your president, I am going to dedicate myself to the vision I have discussed. I believe in educating the next generation of brilliant scholars and citizens who will serve the needs of Alabama, the nation and the world.”
Ivey presented Roberts with the President’s Medallion, which was first presented to President Harry Philpott at his installation nearly 60 years ago. The medallion features the inscription “Truth flourishes where the student’s lamp has shone” on one side and the Auburn University seal and its three pillars of research, instruction and extension on the other.
“President Roberts, as someone who cares deeply about this campus, I am thrilled we have you serving at the helm,” said Ivey, a 1967 Auburn graduate. “There’s no one better for the job. There are three characteristics a leader must have — character, competence and commitment. Chris no doubt has all three, and I am confident he will take this university we all love to even greater heights.
“I look forward to working with you as we strive for excellence for Auburn and our state, and I share your vision and your belief that Auburn University can change Alabama and the world for the better.”
Bob Dumas, president pro tempore of the Board of Trustees, joined Ivey, 2022-23 Auburn Student Government Association President Jake Haston and Harbert College Advisory Council Associate Professor Kerry Inger from the Harbert College of Business with turns at the podium as Roberts was officially welcomed as the university’s chief administrator.
“On behalf of the board, I thank you all for investing your time, your trust and your support in Dr. Christopher Roberts as Auburn University’s 21st president,” said Dumas, who served as the event’s host. “Throughout Auburn’s distinguished 167-year history, we have only gathered a handful of times to install a new president. Today is important to our university because it is an extraordinary opportunity to symbolically transition the leadership of our institution to an individual who represents the very values and ideals that we all collectively share.
“Chris, in accepting the call to lead our institution, you join a distinguished group of educators and scholars who have played integral roles in shaping its history, guiding its direction and chartering its success. We charge you with safeguarding Auburn’s rich heritage and guiding its future, strengthening its role as a leading institution and continuing our tradition of excellence across our academic, research, scholarship and extension programs through service to our communities.”