Big-name speakers take the podium at Gormley inauguration

Kaye Burnet/ Editor-in-Chief More than 1,000 people squeeze into the A.J. Palumbo Center for the inauguration of Duquesne University President Ken Gormley.

Kaye Burnet/ Editor-in-Chief
More than 1,000 people squeeze into the A.J. Palumbo Center for the inauguration of Duquesne University President Ken Gormley.

By Kaye Burnet | Editor-in-Chief

It’s not often that a university gets a new president – in its almost 140 years, Duquesne University has only had 13, as of Thursday afternoon.

For an event so rare, it makes sense to pull out all the stops, and that was certainly the case for the Thursday inauguration of President Ken Gormley.

With his impressive career in legal scholarship and a J.D. from Harvard University, it’s no surprise that Gormely was able to invite speakers such as Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Christine Donohue and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto.

“Before I even met Dean Gormley, I felt like I already knew him,” said Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Michael Stack. “He had a widespread reputation as one of the top legal scholars in the commonwealth, if not the country.”

“Running a university is a monumental task…and I’m confident that President Gormley will lead Duquesne to a bright future ahead,” Stack concluded.

“We stand ready to assist and support you in your endeavors,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Saylor was also in attendance.

Several faculty members stepped up to the podium to welcome Gormley, who served as dean of the Duquesne Law School before being selected as the successor to former Duquesne President Charles Dougherty.

“You know firsthand what it means to be a faculty member at Duquesne University, and to live the mission,” said Anne Burrows, president of the Faculty Senate. Burrows mentioned that she looks forward to “a future of open communication” between the president and the faculty.

The ceremony included several nods to Gormley’s Pittsburgh heritage. Mayor Peduto called Gormley “a true Pittsburgher.” Mary Pappert School of Music Professor Joe Negri, also known as “Handyman Negri” from “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood,” honored Gormley with a collection of jazz songs by native Pittsburgh composer Billy Strayhorn.

 

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