University News

University Celebrates Investiture of President Kathleen Waldron

Kathleen Waldron was formally invested as the seventh president of William Paterson University during a colorful, traditional ceremony held on November 12 in Shea Center on the campus.

President Waldron delivers her investiture address

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Click here to read the president's investiture speech

Kathleen Waldron was formally invested as the seventh president of William Paterson University in Wayne during a colorful, traditional ceremony held on November 12 in Shea Center on the campus in Wayne. 

Vincent Mazzola ’73, chair of the William Paterson University Board of Trustees, presided over the ceremony, during which he presented Waldron with the president’s robe in the University’s colors of orange and black, the President’s Medal, and the University mace. More than 500 guests, including representatives from two dozen colleges and universities, attended the ceremony.

In her address, Waldron spoke of the transformative power of higher education. “If we believe that education has a social good beyond the individual’s enrichment, then education must be part of a process that provides knowledge and skills and develops social relations so that individuals more fully participate in society and in the promise of democracy,” she said.

Calling universities “essential to the development and perfection of a democratic process,” she added that it is critical that universities remain “affordable and accessible to all sectors of the population, regardless of family wealth or place of origin.” During a time of declining funding for public higher education, she said, the challenge is to “reaffirm our belief and support for public higher education.”

Waldron described herself as “proud and humbled,” to be the seventh president of William Paterson University. “We stand for what is best about public universities,” she said. “We are a home for research and innovation, a place for learning and scholarship, a center for creative arts and music, a pathway for social mobility for diverse students, and a partner with our communities. We will continue and surge ahead. We will continue to achieve excellence by working together.”

Mazzola, a 1973 graduate of William Paterson, said he was especially honored as an alumnus to have the opportunity to preside over Waldron’s investiture ceremony.

“We look to the leadership of our new president to guide William Paterson University with new ideas, new visions, and new goals,” Mazzola said. “The board eagerly looks forward to working side-by-side with President Waldron, sharing a collective vision for William Paterson University. We look to her to lead this institution forward, to use the skills and talents that led her to us and that led us to select her for this critically important role.”

The ceremony also included remarks by U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell; G. Edward Montero, vice chair of Citigroup.; Richard McCormick, president of Rutgers University; Darryl Greer, CEO, New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities; Ronald Verdicchio, associate professor of elementary and early childhood education and chair of the Faculty Senate; Douglas Hamilton Sr. ’75, president of the William Paterson University Alumni Association; and Naima Ricks ‘11, president of the Student Government Association.

Two fanfares written especially for the occasion by Payton MacDonald, assistant professor of music, and David Weisberg, assistant professor of music, were performed by William Paterson University student instrumentalists. Stephen Bryant, baritone, professor of music, sang the University’s Alma Mater, accompanied by Gary Kirkpatrick, piano, professor of music.

A traditional academic procession preceded the ceremony, led by Vincent Parrillo, professor of sociology, as chief marshal and bearer of the University mace, and Virginia Overdorf, professor of kinesiology, as bearer of the University banner. They were followed by student representatives, members of the Alumni Association Executive Council, delegates from colleges and universities, the faculty, staff and administration, the platform party, members of the Board of Trustees, Mazzola, and Waldron.