Education

Pomp and circumstance surround inauguration of new Duke president

Posted October 5

— “Pomp and Circumstance” isn't only for graduation, as Duke University spent Thursday celebrating the inauguration of its new president.

Vincent Price started his role in Durham in July, but thousands of attendees came from all over the country to fill the chairs packing grassy area in front of the school's chapel.

“It’s really exciting. There’s a lot of celebrations and excitement around it. A change of leadership is always exciting because you’re waiting for new things to happen,” said Ph.D. student Marwa Alfakhri.

Price is the university's 10th president, following Richard Brodhead, who was inaugurated in 2004.

Brodhead stepped down earlier this year to return to his position as the William Preston Few Professor of English at Duke, and Price was selected to succeed him. Price comes to Duke from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was provost.

“It’s a very exciting time. I feel like every president has a new direction they take the university in,” said Duke senior Akash Patel.

Price had some tests right from the start, including his decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from the Duke University Chapel.

“I was impressed. I think it’s easy to just give platitudes and talk about bringing people together in a very [disingenuous] way, but it seemed that he was very willing to face issues head on,” said Duke senior Eric Qian

Students said the decision to remove the statue is a promising sign for leadership to come from Price.

“It indicates, I think, a willingness to take a stance on some of these big things,” said Duke senior Maya Durvasula.

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