The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

A look back at first investiture in 15 years

Wainwright+and+Henderson+sharing+a+heartfelt+hug+after+Henderson+finished+his+speech+at+the+investiture+ceremony+on+Dec.+1.+
Chloe Williams
Wainwright and Henderson sharing a heartfelt hug after Henderson finished his speech at the investiture ceremony on Dec. 1.

On Dec. 1, 2023, Southeastern hosted several events leading up to an investiture ceremony, officially inducting Dr. William Wainwright as the university’s 15th president. 

This was SLU’s first investiture in 15 years. To celebrate, the university hosted several ceremonies and events throughout campus. At every event, Wainwright, his wife Misty, and their children Zachary and Eliza were in attendance along with numerous faculty, staff and students.

One of these students was Student Government Association President Lacey Johnson, who attended many of the celebratory activities

When reflecting on the overall investiture events, Johnson said, “The week showcased the spirit of unity and academic excellence that defines our institution. As SGA president, witnessing the enthusiasm and engagement of our student body during investiture week was particularly inspiring. It reaffirmed the strong sense of community that exists on our campus and the shared commitment to the values upheld by President Wainwright.”

The week began with the Presidential Investiture Reception in the Student Union Ballroom on Nov. 30. Here, invited guests and dignitaries who were visiting campus could socialize with each other, as well as faculty and staff. 

Wainwright introduced his family and asked everyone to join them at the tree lighting after the reception. He added they would step away from the reception to attend the student-led vigil in honor of the recent passing of a student

Later that night, the First Lady’s Inaugural Tree Lighting event took place on the first floor of the Student Union. Preceding the Christmas tree lighting, there were tables set up where students could engage in activities such as decorating cookies, building gingerbread houses and stuffing Roomie toys. There was also an ice skating rink underneath the Student Union Breezeway. 

Christmas carolers from the choral department sang around 8 p.m. before the countdown for the tree lighting outside of the Student Union. 

On the morning of the investiture ceremony, Wainwright and his family attended a 10 a.m. mass led by Father Taylor Sanford at St. Albert Catholic Student Center. After the service, a brunch was held at the Student Union Breezeway with abundant food for the attendees. 

The official investiture ceremony was held at 1 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom. The ceremony included speeches from many of Wainwright’s colleagues, including former UL System President Dr. Jim Henderson. 

In his speech, which began the official investiture, Henderson said, “ [Wainwright] rises to the occasion and does it with a level of authenticity and sincerity that comes from a very deep place.” 

Wainwright was then formally invested as the 15th university president and was honored with Southeastern’s Presidential Chain, a gift from the Alumni Association during its 50th anniversary. It features the university’s seal as its centerpiece and brass platelets engraved with past SLU presidents’ names.

Louisiana’s Poet Laureate and creative writing professor Alison Pelegrin read a poem written for the ceremony. Afterward, Wainwright expressed gratitude for being honored with this position. 

“I am truly grateful for this opportunity and I commit to dedicating my entire being to the success of Southeastern Louisiana University,” Wainwright remarked. 

Father Sanford then closed the ceremony with a prayer and music played by the Southeastern Wind Symphony as Wainwright and his family exited the ballroom. The following weekend, Wainwright led his first two commencement ceremonies on Dec. 9 as the official president of SLU.

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About the Contributors
Chloe Williams, Editor-in-Chief
Chloe Williams is an English major with a concentration in creative writing and minors in communication and theater. She hopes to become a newspaper reporter who will be able to write and travel for the news and spread the voice of the people. You can find her anywhere that contains a stage, hanging out and eating with her friends on campus or taking a nap when she gets the chance.
Haley Dupre, Photography Editor
Haley Dupre' is a sports communication major from Donaldsonville. She joined our team in Oct. 2021 as a reporter. In addition to her contributions to Student Publications, Haley actively participates in managing SLU Track and Field's social media channels. With her passion for capturing photos, she aspires to build a career in sports photography.
Brynn Lundy Arriago, Graduate Assistant
Brynn Lundy Arriago began working for The Lion's Roar in the fall of 2019, her first semester at Southeastern, and now serves as Graduate Assistant. From Lutcher, she graduated with a degree in communication in May of 2022 and is pursuing a graduate degree in strategic communication.
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