WOLFVILLE, NS – In a new installation ceremony held Oct. 13, Dr. Peter J. Ricketts became the 16th president and vice-chancellor of Acadia University.
He pledged that Acadia will be true to its traditions and values, will continue to develop as a truly global university, and will be a force for improving the common good of humankind in Canada and around the world
Presided over by Chancellor Libby Burnham, the ceremony took place at the Manning Memorial Chapel. It was attended by almost 200 guests representing campus, community and universities from across Canada, including Chancellor Emeritus Arthur L. Irving.
“I am enormously grateful to the Board of Governors and to Acadia University for bestowing upon me the great honour and privilege of becoming its 16th President and Vice-Chancellor,” said Ricketts.
“When I came to Canada in 1978 for a nine-month lectureship at the University of Windsor, never intending to stay, I would never have imagined that I would be standing here today being installed as a university president.”
Ricketts began his term on July 1 after a year-long search to replace outgoing president Ray Ivany. The chair of Acadia’s Board of Governors, John Rogers, introducing the new president.
“As chair of the search committee responsible for recruiting Peter, I know we couldn’t find anyone better suited for Acadia,” he said. “His commitment to student success, his broad experience in post-secondary education from coast to coast in Canada, and his scholarly work in coastal ecosystems make him an ideal fit.”
Ricketts recited an oath of office and received a symbolic key to the university. He changed from his own academic robes into robes crafted in Acadia’s red and blue.
During his remarks, Ricketts took time to acknowledge the importance of Acadia’s history and traditions.
“As I have explored the incredible university, I see an institution that is steeped in history and tradition and yet is engaged in the leading edge of modernity through the teaching and research which constitute the core of its educational mission,” he said.
“Acadia has not only embraced change but it is actually leading change: it is truly a university of the 21st century, yet we have also held dear those traditions and values that have given us our own unique culture and character, that define us as a university, and that make Acadia so special.”
One feature of the ceremony was greetings brought by Chief Sidney Peters of the Glooscap First Nation. Ricketts has reached out to the Mi’kmaw people and the grand council flag now flies over the campus.
Ricketts pledged to make Acadia more inclusive, diverse and respectful.
In the past the installation of new presidents at Acadia has taken place during Convocation ceremonies in University Hall.
Following the installation ceremony, a reception was held at the Fountain Learning Commons, kicking off official events for Acadia’s Homecoming Weekend.