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UW-River Falls prepares for Chancellor Gallo's inauguration

Falcon News Service

October 14, 2022

UW-River Falls will celebrate Chancellor Gallo’s inauguration with a multitude of events centered around student and community connection as well as sustainability. The inauguration ceremony will take place at 1p.m. on Oct. 19, at the University Center Ballroom.

The university is expecting around 200 or more visitors to be on campus that day according to Chief of Staff Beth Schommer. The inauguration will also be a scaled-down event compared to the last inauguration, which was for Dean Van Galen in 2010.

“One of the things we have learned is that in this day and age less is more,” Schommer said. One thing that will stay the same is the traditional unveiling of the Chancellor's portrait. Schommer stated, “We have portraits for all of our chancellors, which used to be displayed in North Hall, and we took them down for painting and haven’t put them back up. We have not decided where they are going to go.”

Schommer said the inauguration is an important part of university tradition. “I think it’s about pausing in an institution’s historical timeline and reflecting about who we are, who’s come before, what the foundation that [Gallo] is going to lay for the future…. These are really celebratory moments for everyone to come together as a campus and a community to feel a part of something that is bigger than ourselves.”

Chancellor Gallo will be attending all of the Day of Engagement events taking place the day prior, which include an Innovator in Residence Presentation, Inauguration Coffee Concert Celebration, Art Department Faculty Exhibition, Sustainability Focus, Overview, and Highlights Tour; as well as a tree dedication.

Schommer explained that many elements of the event were inspired by Gallo, like the focus on sustainability. Others were taking advantage of events that were already scheduled and elevating them to be part of the day.

The Day of Engagement event that the chancellor hand-picked is the interview with author Annie Murphy Paul and moderated by UWRF alumna Cathy Wurzer.

Gallo stated why she wanted Murphy Paul as part of her celebration, “I think the interview will be interesting and fun because I had read her book over the winter break and I really enjoyed it and I thought; well I want to share this with people and wouldn’t this be great if this could be part of the inauguration ceremony in some way.”

Gallo spoke of the inauguration’s meaning to her. “It's an honor and a privilege to serve the university and this is a formalization of that and to share how great of a place this is among colleagues, and friends, and the community and also what the vision is going forward. More important is the engagement to celebrate a beginning and a continuation of the great work that has been done before.”

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