Dr. Timothy Downs Inagurated As Northern’s President

   Change. It is inevitable and takes many forms. There has been a major change at Northern recently. On Thursday, Nov. 10, Northern State University officially inaugurated its new president, Dr. Timothy Downs. Dr. Downs is the seventeenth president of NSU since 1902. His immediate predecessor was Dr. James Smith who served as president from 2009-2016.
   The event began with a processional. Dr. Art Marmostein bore the ceremonial mace. According to the program, the mace’s head is an oval symbolizing the possessions of the faculty and the polished edges “represent the refinement of imagination into rational thought,” the finial symbolizes the foundation of excellence. The staff was made by NSU’s faculty of industrial technology and there is a bronze wolf’s tooth mounted to the staff; the tooth represents “strength, endurance and intelligence.” The members of the staging party followed Dr. Marmostein and were seated on the stage in front of the symphonic band and choir members.
   The honorary faculty marshals, Dr. Courtney Waid-Lindberg and Dr. Kristi Bockorny, led the delegates, administrators, and faculty from each University and College to their seats. The SD Color Guard posted the colors and, additionally, Dr. Darci Bultema sang the National Anthem.
   The NSU Provost, Dr. Alan LaFave, served as the Master of Ceremonies and gave an introduction followed by an invocation by Fr. Michael T. Kesicki. The Honorable Dr. Michael G. Rush delivered a greeting and welcome from the South Dakota Board of Regents. The Honorable Harvey C. Jewett IV read congratulations from Governor Dennis Daugaard, U.S. Senator John Thune, U.S. Senator M. Michael Rounds, and U.S. Congresswoman Kristi Noem.

   The Mayor of Aberdeen, Mike Levesen, formally welcomed Dr. Downs to the city of Aberdeen and the surrounding townships. Dr. Majorie Kaiser, Superintendent of the South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, delivered greetings from the Council of Presidents. Faculty Senate President Dr. Doug Ohmer, Student Association President Corey Klatt, and the CEO of the NSU Foundation, Mr. Todd Jorde, welcomed the new president.
   All speakers addressed the topic of change within their welcome speeches. They believed that Dr. Downs would provide a positive and influential change for Northern State.
   In honor of Veteran’s Day, which was the day after the inauguration, God Bless the USA by Lee Greenwood was performed by NSU student Katie Cramer accompanied by the NSU Symphonic Band. Then, three past professional colleagues shared their stories about Dr. Downs and promised he was motivated to change NSU for the better.
   The colleagues included Dr. Bobby Patton, President Emeritus from the University of Central Missouri, Fr. Kesicki, Associate Vice President for Mission and Ministry from Gannon University, and Dr. Kevin Hearn, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs from Niagara University.
   The Honorable Randy Schaefer, President of the SD Board of Regents, and Dr. Rush, Executive Director of the SD Board of Regents, presented Dr. Downs with NSU’s Mission Statement, the President’s pen, which was used to sign the paper which created NSU, and the Presidential Medallion. Dr. Timothy Downs then officially accepted his inauguration.
   The NSU Symphonic Band and Concert Choir performed America the Beautiful.
   Finally, Dr. Alan LaFave delivered the closing comments.
   At the conclusion of the ceremony, Fr. Kesicki followed the closing comments with a heartfelt benediction.
   All of the members of the procession recessed to the lobby, followed by the attendees, where the new President of Northern State University, Dr. Timothy Down, greeted everyone while refreshments were served.

Sabrina Mount

All photos courtesy of Brooke Heppner, Staff Photographer.