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Randolph College announces inauguration of 10th president, Bradley W. Bateman

Randolph College will celebrate the inauguration of its 10th president, Bradley W. Bateman, on April 25-26, taking time to reflect on the College’s mission, its rich history, and its future. The inauguration’s public events begin with a symposium on liberal arts education and conclude with a free, public concert by Grammy Award winner Mavis Staples.

Tickets to the Mavis Staples concert, to be held at E.C. Glass High School, can be requested at www.randolphcollege.edu/tickets beginning today. Tickets are not needed for any other public event.

“The inauguration of President Bateman is a wonderful opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate the College’s past and present, and to anticipate an even brighter future for Randolph College,” said Becky Morrison Dunn ’70, chair of the Board of Trustees. “This event allows us to recognize and honor our new leadership, as well as to reaffirm our sustaining commitment to the liberal arts.”

A presidential inauguration, a tradition originating in the 17th century, is a significant moment in a college’s history. At Randolph, the event provides the community with the opportunity to unite in common purpose, to remember and treasure the past, and to envision the possibilities for the future.

Public inauguration events commence on Friday, April 25 with a public Inaugural Symposium titled “Why the Liberal Arts?” Speakers will address the importance and impact of a liberal arts education, focusing on teaching, advising, creating, and serving. The speakers include Jerry W. Ward, a foremost scholar of African American literature, Marti Hemwall, an anthropology professor and academic advising expert who now works in the nonprofit sector, Kwang-Wu Kim, president and CEO of Columbia College Chicago, and David P. White, a former student of Bateman who now serves as executive director of SAG-AFTRA.

On Saturday, April 26, the celebration continues at 11 a.m. with an interfaith chapel service in Houston Memorial Chapel. The formal installation ceremony of Bateman begins at 2 p.m. in Smith Memorial Hall.

Mavis Staples will perform in an inaugural concert at 8 p.m. at the E.C. Glass High School Auditorium. This concert is free and open to the public. Staples is a renowned singer whose career has spanned more than 60 years and has covered genres including gospel, rhythm and blues, jazz, rock, and blues. She began her career with The Staple Singers, her family band that recorded the hit song “I’ll Take You There,” as well as numerous songs that were influential in the civil rights movement. In 2010, she won a Grammy for her album “You Are Not Alone.”

“I was thrilled and honored when Mavis Staples accepted our invitation to perform during my inauguration,” said Bateman. “I have always admired her music as well as her life story, and I am excited to share her visit with the Lynchburg community.”

In addition to the public events, the inauguration includes events for the members of the Randolph community, such as an Earth Day concert for students and a special dinner for former presidents and trustees of Randolph College. Visit www.randolphcollege.edu/inauguration for more information and a detailed schedule of inaugural events.

Bateman became the 10th president of Randolph College in July 2013 upon the retirement of John E. Klein. A passionate advocate for the liberal arts, Bateman previously served as the provost and executive vice president at Denison University. Before his service at Denison, he was the associate dean and the Gertrude B. Austin Chair of Economics at Grinnell College, where he also served as acting director of both the Center for Prairie Studies and the Rosenfield Program in Public Affairs, International Relations, and Human Rights. He earned a B.A. in economics from Alma College in Alma, Michigan and received both his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Kentucky. See www.randolphcollege.edu/bradley_w_bateman.xml for his complete biography and curriculum vitae.


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