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Students enjoy being a part of OWU history during Inauguration Week

President Matt vandenBerg was officially inaugurated as Ohio Wesleyan’s 17th president on Friday, April 19.

While the campus was booming with events celebrating the inauguration the whole week leading up to the event, Dr. v. has made it known time and time again that the events were about him, but instead reflecting on the institution's history and goals. 

The week kicked off on Monday with free coffee for students and faculty in the morning and an unveiling of murals created by OWU alum Nick Stull in the early afternoon.

According to OWU’s Director of Student Involvement Dina Daltorio,“the plan is for the murals to be up in Hamilton Williams Campus Center sometime over the summer.” Daltorio believes this goal was set so when students return next year they will be up for viewing. The murals are bright and colorful, and focus on one individual in each photo.

Each mural has an individual story attached to it and focuses on individuals from the global majority who are not always widely represented to expand cultural knowledge for OWU students and visitors who may encounter them. 

Tuesday's event was much smaller and focused more on students. Students were given prompt cards that asked about their future plans or their future admirations for Ohio Wesleyan. Answers were written down and tied with ribbon on one of three boards.

Although faculty were encouraged to participate, most of the responses were from students. This could be due to the location being in Hamilton William Campus Center which is a hot spot for students, but not always faculty.

The activity was set up from 11 am - 1 pm. At the conclusion of the event the three boards were filled with responses, many of them very thoughtful. OWU junior Sophie Greenbaum shared her hopes for the future by writing “I want to become a teacher who helps create inclusive environments to shape the minds of the younger generation.”

These cards are being collected and given to Dr. v so he can go through them and share students' sentiments and visions for the future of Ohio Wesleyan’s campus. 

Wednesday featured a photo booth with Bob the Bishop and a cardboard cutout of President vandenBerg for students and faculty to get photos with. The company called Snap Gather Photobooths, appeared to be a hit on campus as there was never a break from people walking up to get their photos.

Anyone who got photos was allowed to get a printed version as well as get the image sent to them digitally. The inauguration committee also arranged for Little Ladies Soft Serve to come to campus and give students and faculty free ice cream. 

Thursday was a calmer day. Free donuts were given out in the morning with a reminder to attend the inauguration on Friday. At noon inauguration t-shirts were given out to students and faculty on a first come first serve basis.

There were shirts left over from this that were put out on Friday. These shirts were given so that students and faculty would be in red and black on Friday for the inauguration ceremony. 

Friday was the end of this celebratory week. The inauguration ceremony took place in Gray Chapel on Friday morning at 10 am and classes were canceled from 10 am - 12 pm to give students the opportunity to attend. OWU senior Annabel Benes shares her feelings on the ceremony.

“My favorite event was the actual inauguration ceremony. I loved being able to see Gray Chapel filled to the max. The speakers were amazing and I enjoyed hearing from Dr.V’s best friend who is also the president of another university. I loved seeing the campus so vibrant at lunch afterward. Overall it was a great experience and I am so happy to be a part of OWU history.” 

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