Cartwright dons mantle of BGSU president

BOWLING GREEN, O.—Spirits were high in the Lenhart Grand Ballroom Jan. 30 when Bowling Green State University installed Dr. Carol A. Cartwright as its 10th president. Backed by tall banners displaying BGSU scenes and flanked by the Academic Charter, mace and presidential medallion, Cartwright assumed the role of leader of the institution.

Presiding over the ceremony was board of trustees Chair John Harbal, who conferred the presidency on Cartwright. “By virtue of the authority of Bowling Green State University and the board of trustees,” he said, “I commit to you the charter of the University, the University mace and the BGSU presidential medallion—all symbols of the high office which you now hold.”

Referring to her upcoming address, Harbal averred that the state of the University would be much stronger with Cartwright at the helm. She is the most experienced university president in the state, having served at Kent State University for 15 years, he noted.

“While her experience is important, just as critical to BGSU’s future is that she is not afraid of change,” Harbal said. “She understands the opportunities of the University System of Ohio and has supported its goals and the vision of Gov. Strickland and Chancellor Fingerhut from the beginning. She has the management and leadership skills to help the University wisely invest our resources in areas where we can succeed and fulfill our mission.”

In a moment of levity, Harbal surprised the new president by presenting her a lottery ticket. The numbers were chosen based on the facts that both Kent State and BGSU were founded in 1910 and will soon celebrate their centennials, and she was the first woman president and 10th president at both institutions. “The jackpot’s about $30 million now. That should help our students,” Harbal joked, adding that she could also name a building after him.

Special guest speaker at the ceremony was BGSU alumnus Bruce Johnson, president and CEO of the Inter-University Council and former lieutenant governor and state development director.

“This is a great day for Bowling Green State University to celebrate the contributions of Carol Cartwright, who is also a former president of the IUC,” Johnson said. “You can expect that students and their success will be her top priority.”

Calling her an “innovative teacher, pioneering researcher and national leader in higher education,” he said, “She insists upon excellence and she leads by example. At a time when the challenges to higher education have never been greater, strong leadership has never been more important.”

Attending the ceremony and speech along with BGSU faculty, staff and students were current and former trustees, representatives from the alumni and BGSU Foundation boards, and four university presidents: Dr. Lloyd Jacobs from the University of Toledo, Dr. Christa Adams from Owens Community College, Dr. Marsha Bordner from Terra Community College and Dr. Tom Stuckey from Northwest State Community College.

Also on hand were state Rep. Randy Gardner and state Sen. Mark Wagoner, along with city officials and community representatives.

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(Posted February 02, 2009 )