Brian W. Casey inaugurated as the 17th president of Colgate University

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Within the historic precincts of Memorial Chapel, the Colgate University community looked forward to a bright and exciting future when it inaugurated Brian W. Casey as its 17th president on September 30.

Hundreds of well-wishers packed the chapel for the ceremony — the highlight of a weeklong celebration of Colgate.

Daniel B. Hurwitz ’86, P’17’20, chair of the Board of Trustees; history professor Jill Harsin, former interim president; English professor Connie Harsh, interim dean of the faculty; Matthew Swain ’17, president of the Student Government Association; Thomas Cruz-Soto, associate dean of campus life; and Hamilton Town Supervisor Eve Ann Shwartz all offered welcoming words to Casey. Pulitzer Prize–winning English professor Peter Balakian read a poem he wrote for the occasion, and Marvin Krislov, president of Oberlin College, praised Casey’s energy, wisdom, and commitment to the liberal arts.

Casey himself spoke of his awe and his great respect for liberal arts college campuses as places set apart — one of America’s best settings where we expect great things to happen. He said:

By some turn, or by sheer incredible luck, I have been able to live my life in those places. Now, by an even greater turn of good fortune, I begin, with you, my service to this faculty, to our students, to the Board of Trustees, to this work. I can think of no greater calling than to be one more person on this campus, longing to advance knowledge, to perpetuate it to posterity, and with this faculty, this administration, this board, to alter the world with the power of our ideas.

In the days leading up to the inauguration ceremony, professors, students, alumni, and friends gathered for panel conversations on the university’s history, developing community leaders, and the current state of communications and media. Colgate’s inaugural poet, Peter Balakian, gave a reading and discussed his Ozone Journal as part of the Living Writers series. You can watch many of the events via our livestream archive, and read more about Casey at

Homecoming Weekend 2016 followed, with the dedication of the new Class of 1965 Arena. Members of the class, along with more than 2,500 other fans, were on hand for the first games in the Steven J. Riggs ’65 Rink: women’s hockey defeated New Hampshire, 4–2, and men’s hockey tied Army, 2–2. The university hosted a total of nine athletic contests between September 30 and October 1. Visit for results.