Willamette University, Students at the Mill Stream

The inauguration of President Stephen E. Thorsett

President Stephen E. Thorsett Steven E. Thorsett
Willamette University's 25th President

Willamette’s inauguration of Stephen E. Thorsett represents a historic moment, in which the Board of Trustees vests the new president with the powers of office. It’s an opportunity to gather for a celebration of Willamette’s heritage, our community and a presidential inauguration – only the 25th in our 170-year history.

Inauguration includes a series of campus gatherings, including informal chats at the university’s student-run coffeehouses as well as presentations by two of the world’s leading scientists – each responsible for advancing the frontier of humanity’s knowledge.

Science Café with President Thorsett gives the Willamette community (alumni are welcome to attend!) a chance to learn more about the president’s work with pulsars – unimaginably dense collapsed stars that bend time and space. He will also discuss his team’s discovery of the oldest known planet in the Universe, which orbits a pulsar. The talk is geared for the general campus community. A question and answer session follows the presentation.

From The Sunday Times of London to Wired Magazine, Atkinson Lecturer Carolyn Porco is recognized as one of the world’s premier scientists. Her Cassini mission team’s stunning images are featured in this thought-provoking visual exploration of Saturn and its moons.

The week culminates in the Installation Ceremony. University delegates from around the world attend the formal event. Former Willamette University presidents Jerry Hudson and M. Lee Pelton will present Thorsett with the presidential silver medallion during the ceremony, scheduled from 2:30 to 4 p.m. on Feb. 10.

The Atkinson Lecture and Installation Ceremony are ticketed events, but everyone is welcome to be part of the celebration.