Edington’s investiture ceremony caps off weeklong inauguration celebration

Edington’s investiture ceremony caps off weeklong inauguration celebration

Edington’s investiture ceremony caps off weeklong inauguration celebration

Maurice Edington with Mace
The UDC community came together for the Inauguration of President Maurice D. Edington, Ph.D. Among the speakers were D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and multiple mentors of Dr. Edington.

UDC’s inauguration ceremony on March 14 marked the culmination of weeklong activities celebrating the investiture of Maurice D. Edington, Ph.D., as the 10th president of the University of the District of Columbia. University leaders, family and guests traveled across the country to join the Firebird and D.C. community in culminating the official induction of Dr. Edington.

UDC’s Theater of the Arts was crowded with UDC faculty, students and D.C. government officials, who were joined by colleagues, friends and family of Dr. Edington to participate in the ceremony for the head of the 173-year-old institution of higher education.

There was an ebullient mood as the processional began with faculty dressed in academic robes, the Presentation of the Colors by the Metropolitan Police Department Ceremonial Honor Guard Unit and musical selections by UDC Chorale.

During the ceremony, Dr. Edington was showered with well wishes, including a congratulatory video message from former President Ronald Mason, Jr., J.D., the ninth president of UDC; student and alumni leaders; and Faculty Senate Chair Arlene King-Berry, as well as D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

“I am extremely delighted to be here to formally inaugurate the 10th president of our university,” Mayor Bowser said. “I speak on behalf of 700,000 grateful Washingtonians. I have had the opportunity to get to know Dr. Edington, and I knew he was the right man for the job. His energy is unmatched. His expertise in higher education makes him a perfect fit for UDC and to be able to take it to the next level. Most importantly, he has a passion for students and a focus on their outcomes. He also has a responsibility to the staff of UDC to connect them to great opportunities here or wherever their ambitions take them.”

Dr. Edington’s mentor Dr. Princilla Evans, a retired associate professor of chemistry at Fisk University, whom he credits for helping him find funding to remain in school and choose a career in higher education, was present to see her mentee become president.

“I am proud to be here,” Dr. Evans said. “He has been preparing for this position a very long time. The time is here, and the time is right. I first met him when he was a freshman in 1988. It was evident that he was a young person who knew what he wanted to be in life. He knew he wanted to be a dependable person with integrity, an employee with an unquestionable work ethic, a man with an insatiable drive to do his best. To you, matriculating students, he demonstrates what hard work and tenacious determination can achieve.”

Among his well-wishers, Virginia State University President Makola M. Abdullah, Ph.D., shared his respect and admiration for Dr. Edington, who he described as a leader among his peers as they developed their careers together from professors to administrators.

“The first one of us who was promoted to a position of leadership was Maurice Edington,” Dr. Abdullah said. “He was the best friend, the best supporter and patient. He was the best of us. I have always looked up to him. He is a good man. We pledged together and now we are in a new fraternity as presidents. I begged him for six years to become a president. I couldn’t understand why it took him so long to leave. Now I know, he was destined to be here as a Firebird.”

UDC Board of Trustees Chair Christopher D. Bell, J.D., led the Ceremony of Investiture, which included the Academic Robing presented by UDC First Lady Tonya Barge Edington, presenting of the Presidential Medallion and University Mace, followed by the administering of the oath of office by Chair Bell.

As the program came to a close, Florida A&M University President Larry Robinson, Ph., introduced Dr. Edington, who he watched have a significant impact and success over the years at FAMU.

“I want to congratulate the Board for making an excellent choice in selecting Dr. Edington,” President Robinson said, who brought a large contingent of FAMU students and faculty. “These people came all the way from Tallahassee and afar because of their admiration and respect and love for Dr. Edington. In one way or another, he has touched their lives. He is a real influencer.

“President Edington is a man of vision, purpose, commitment, integrity, and perhaps not least of all, humility. I’m told that a Firebird flies around giving hope to those who need it, no one needs that more than our students, their families, and their communities. Dr. Edington will build upon the great legacy of this institution and lead you to places that you have never imagined.”

In Dr. Edington’s inaugural address, he thanked D.C. Mayor Bowser for her support and all his family and supporters who span the breadth of his life and career.

“As much as it is about me, it’s about UDC and an opportunity to showcase to the local community and the world, who and what we are,” President Edington said. “That’s what this week has been all about.

“It’s an incredible honor to stand up before you and commemorate and celebrate this next chapter in UDC’s history. Today is a day of significance for the University and a day rich in significance for me personally. I’m filled with humility and gratitude—humility that I have been chosen to guide this storied institution toward the future and gratitude for all the mentors who led me to this moment.”

A reception was held immediately following the Inauguration Ceremony, where the Edingtons greeted guests.

To learn more about Dr. Maurice D. Edington, click here.