Community residents are invited to participate in a series of events commemorating the Friday, Nov. 9, inauguration of Eastern Illinois University President William L. Perry.
Perry, who began serving as the institution's top administrator on July 1, will take the official oath of office at 3 p.m. in Eastern's Grand Ballroom, located in the MLK Jr. Union. Seating is limited, so the ceremony will also be shown on closed-circuit television in the nearby University Ballroom should additional space be necessary.
Other inauguration-related events, planned with students, faculty, staff and the community in mind, will also be open to the general public throughout the week. Perry is scheduled to be attendance at all activities.
A reception in Old Main (the "Castle") is planned for 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 8. Walking tours, led by student ambassadors, will introduce interested participants to the newly renovated Blair Hall and to Booth Library. Visitors who are Illinois residents and over the age of 18 will have the opportunity to apply for a library user's card while visiting campus.
(Parking for community members will be available in the lot east of Old Main.)
John Cassis -- motivational speaker and former professional baseball player -- will speak from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov, 6, in the Grand Ballroom. According to his Web site ( http://premierespeakers.com/john_cassis/bio ), Cassis "encourages people to step into the arena and live their dreams."
A Forum on Academic Freedom will take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, in 7th Street Underground, located in the east wing basement of the MLK Jr. Union.
A final event -- Pizza with the President -- is a student-only event, scheduled to take place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 7, in the northwest gym of the Student Recreation Center. Attendees should bring two canned food items which, in turn, will be donated to local food banks.
Prior to assuming the position of 10th president of Eastern, Perry advanced through the tenured faculty ranks and held progressively responsible administrative positions which culminated in his appointment as vice provost at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, where he was recognized for distinguished achievement in teaching and in administration.
He also holds the position of professor of mathematics at Eastern, and is a member of the boards of directors of Coles Together and the Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce.
Perry was born and raised in Missouri, and received a bachelor of arts degree in history and mathematics from Park College in Parkville, Mo., which recognized him as a distinguished alumnus in 1999. He also received master of arts and doctorate of philosophy degrees in mathematics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
He and his wife, Linda, reside in Charleston. They have two children, Deborah and Greg, who reside in Texas.