The inauguration of CWRU’s 11th president

CWRU enters a new and exciting chapter with the highly-anticipated inauguration of President Eric Kaler

Courtesy of The Daily

CWRU enters a new and exciting chapter with the highly-anticipated inauguration of President Eric Kaler

Siddharth Mehta, Contributing Writer

This past Friday marked the grand inauguration of Case Western Reserve University’s 11th president, President Eric W. Kaler. The event which took place in Amasa Stone Chapel began outside with clear weather, an exhilarating precessional performance by the Spartan Marching Band, and energetic cheers from students as trustee and faculty members made their way along the binary walkway from the Adelbert Hall to the chapel to begin the inauguration.

Inside the chapel, pre-recorded messages from CWRU religious organizations began the event along with a Dhamakapella rendition of the national anthem. The Case/University Circle Symphony Orchestra also provided various upbeat and powerful performances throughout the inauguration.

Prior to President Kaler’s speech, university leaders—including Provost Ben Vinson III, former interim president and current trustee Scott Cowen and Board of Trustees Chair Fred Disanto—provided words of wisdom and introductions for this momentous occasion. 

Provost Vinson III emphasized the CWRU community’s excitement for the highly-anticipated president to finally join campus after one full year without a permanent president, and noted the anticipation for the new missions and goals that President Kaler would bring to CWRU. Cowen, who has been working closely with President Kaler since his arrival to help him acclimate to campus and community life, expressed the past experience and knowledge Kaler will bring to the CWRU campus in the coming months and years. Just before President Kaler’s address, Disanto introduced him and expressed confidence in the new president’s ability to lead this school with “even greater service to its students, its community, city and nation.”

In his address, President Kaler emphasized the importance of a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, as well as its importance throughout the history of CWRU, citing Frederick Douglass’ 1854 Commencement Address at the Western Reserve University.

Kaler expressed the opportunities the CWRU community is capable of providing to students who are motivated, passionate and focused on bettering themselves. He addressed Alex Berrum-Navarrete, who is a first-generation college student raised by a single mother with a number of achievements under his belt. President Kaler highlighted that Berrum-Navarrete has served on campus as a medical technician, resident assistant and literacy tutor. He is currently a fourth-year on the dean’s list and is majoring in psychology while pursuing a master’s degree in both bioethics and medical humanities. Berrum-Navarrete is looking to attend medical school next year as well. President Kaler explained that this is just one student that is a result of the strong CWRU community and work ethic which always aims for excellence beyond academic numbers and statistics.

Kaler closed his address by expressing how much he is looking forward to working with CWRU as the head of school. He expressed his excitement for this next chapter of his life and CWRU history as the officially recognized 11th university president.