Investiture at The University of Akron

The Investiture of Scott L. Scarborough, Ph.D.

The Investiture for Scott L. Scarborough, Ph.D.

President Scott Scarborough was installed as our 16th president in a modern ceremony Sept. 19 that celebrated the University, its students and the power of public higher education.

It was the University's first investiture in 15 years.

The University of Akron

President Scott Scarborough speaks during his Investiture on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014.

Scarborough's address was a powerful endorsement of public higher education. He told the story of his grandfather, a refinery worker who moved his family to a town with a great public university. He graduated with a pharmacy degree, opened Scarborough’s Drug Store in Baytown, Texas, and became a pillar of his community.

"While he was still alive, he made sure that all his children and grandchildren had a chance to go to college and realize their dreams," Scarborough said. "Today you have made his grandson the president of a great public university."

He cautioned that the transformative power of higher education is at risk because of a quarter century of underfunding from state governments.

"If we continue to permit it, higher education will drift beyond the reach of ordinary citizens, beyond the reach of people like my grandfather, and with it, I fear, goes the American Dream."

Scarborough said the best universities serve the most people.

"I am truly grateful for the Harvard universities of the world," he said. "But at this university, we do not aspire to be Harvard. We aspire to be more than Harvard: we aspire to be a great public university."

As a great public university, UA will serve the masses, not just the top 10 percent of the best prepared students, he said. UA will conduct research that strengthens the local economy and it will commit to lifting all people higher, so that more can live the American Dream.