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UCO Celebrates Inauguration of President Betz With Week of Activities

April 12, 2012

Media Contact:  Tiffany Wilson, University Relations Staff Writer, University of Central Oklahoma, (405) 974-2121,


The University of Central Oklahoma will host a series of events April 16-20, in celebration of the inauguration of the university’s 20th president, Don Betz, Ph.D., culminating in an inauguration ceremony at 2 p.m. April 20, in Hamilton Field House. Many events, including the ceremony, are free and open to the public.

"Inauguration Week is a powerful opportunity to remind ourselves and Oklahoma of the value Central offers in educating students, enhancing quality of life, and addressing critical issues," said Mark Kinders, Central's vice president for government relations, who has experience with four inaugurations, including Betz's last two ceremonies at Northeastern State University and University of Wisconsin – River Falls.

"We intend to have some fun, too, and want the community to join us throughout the week, including the inauguration ceremony.  It's been decades since Central and Edmond have had the opportunity to witness an inauguration ceremony, so this will be a milestone in the 122-year history of the university."

Inauguration Week events will reflect Central’s six tenets of transformative learning and are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Highlighted activities, grouped by tenet, include:

Global and Cultural Competencies, April 16

·      Building Global Competency and International Opportunities activities – various events from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Nigh University Center (NUC), Grand Ballroom

·      International Fine Arts performances – 1 and 7 p.m., NUC, Constitution Hall

·      Study Abroad, Centre for Global Competency and Global Education displays – all day, NUC, third floor and Heritage Room

·      Center for Global Competency award ceremony and performance – 7 p.m., NUC, Constitution Hall

Research, Creative and Scholarly Activities, April 17

·      Research, Creative and Scholarly Activities Symposium – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., NUC, Heritage Room; some events require registration

Civic Engagement, April 18

·      Earth Day Celebration – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Broncho Lake

·      American Democracy Project (ADP) Conference – celebrating 10 years of the ADP from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., NUC (registration and fee required for some events)

·      Plunkett Past Dark festival – 8 p.m., Plunkett Park

Community and Leadership, April 19

·      Presidential Partners Luncheon – by invitation only at 11:30 a.m., NUC, Grand Ballroom

·      The Red Balloon Presentation by George Mehaffy, vice president of academic leadership and change for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities – 2 p.m., Forensic Science Institute auditorium

·      Broadway Tonight “Stormy Weather: The Lena Horne Project” featuring music legend Mary Wilson of The Supremes – 7:30 p.m., Mitchell Hall; $25 for balcony or $30 for orchestra

Health and Wellness, April 16-19

·      Rock climbing – 2 to 6 p.m. Monday, Wellness Center

·      Labyrinth – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Heartland Plaza (west of Y Chapel)

·      Central Fun Run and Walk – 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Plunkett Park

·      Tai Chi by the Lake – 3 to 4 p.m., Thursday, Broncho Lake, Big Blue Tent

Inauguration Day, April 20

·      Inauguration Ceremony – 2 p.m., Hamilton Field House

·      Inauguration Reception – 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., NUC; free and open to public

The inauguration ceremony will feature greetings from Bill Anoatubby, governor of the Chickasaw Nation; Martha Burger, senior vice president of human and corporate resources for Chesapeake Energy Corporation; Oklahoma Secretary of State Glenn Coffee; Charles Lamb, mayor of the City of Edmond; and David Thompson, president and CEO of InvesTrust and retired president of OPUBCO Communications Group. Lauren Nelson, News 9 anchor and Miss America 2007, will sing “America the Beautiful.”

Though admission is free, a ticket is required for the ceremony. Ticket holders will be seated on a first-come basis, as space is limited in Hamilton Field House. Tickets can be picked up in person from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the information desk inside the main entrance on the east side of the NUC. Tickets serve as free parking validation for the visitor’s lot located east of the main entrance.

For more information about President Betz’s inauguration, including a full list of events with additional details, visit