On Friday, September 20, the University of Minnesota officially inaugurated its 17th president, Joan T.A. Gabel, in a ceremonial transition into Gabel's presidency, which began July 1.
The events wrapped up a week-long celebration welcoming Gabel to the University’s top administrative position, activities that blended long-held University traditions with new approaches that emphasized accessibility, inclusivity, innovation, discovery and fiscal stewardship.
“It is my great honor to lead the University of Minnesota, an institution that’s never been one for shortcuts or settling for less, or for those who prefer leisure over grit or seek only the form without the substance,” Gabel said. “Ours is a history defined by risk-takers and doers, creators and discoverers — some celebrated as Nobel Laureates, Olympians, and titans of industry — but ultimately, and collectively, by those whose talent and resourcefulness have transformed our state and society for the better.”
Gabel was inaugurated at a brief installation ceremony inside the McNamara Alumni Center, which was livestreamed for the first time in the University’s history. Members of the campus community lined up along Scholars Walk to greet Gabel on her way to Northrop Mall, where she delivered her inaugural address on the iconic steps of Northrop Memorial Auditorium.
The outdoor venue, along with a livestream online, made the address available in real time to anyone who wanted to learn more about her vision for the state's flagship, land-grant University.
“Our collective vision as a university is rooted at the intersection of our values and our actions. It is there that our core commitments to students, discovery, our state and a welcoming culture, as well as fiscal stewards, merge together to ensure a bright and flourishing future,” Gabel noted.
Following Gabel’s address, attendees enjoyed a festive and casual lunch on Northrop Mall, with food trucks, lawn games and music. The University provided apples developed through its famed breeding program, as well as corn and vegan chili, all free of charge. Donations were encouraged to fund mental health initiatives across the University system.
Friday's events concluded a memorable inauguration week on the Twin Cities campus, which highlighted the University’s work in areas including agriculture and the environment, economic contributions, health and wellness, and innovation. These activities were just the beginning for Gabel as she partners with University students, faculty and staff to celebrate the many ways the University delivers its mission of education, discovery and innovation, and outreach.
The spotlight on the University’s work will continue to shine in the weeks to come, as Gabel visits campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris and Rochester to celebrate how one of the most comprehensive university systems in the nation delivers its mission and addresses the unique opportunities, challenges and needs of Minnesotans and beyond.
The University of Minnesota System, with campuses in Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester, and the Twin Cities, is driven by a singular vision of excellence. We are proud of our land-grant mission of world-class education, groundbreaking research, and community-engaged outreach, and we are unified in our drive to serve Minnesota. Visit system.umn.edu.
- Campus Affairs