Rebecca Munday, Staff Writer
“It’s really important for me to support my president,” said Lydia Boone, a senior, public health major, who attended the Investiture Celebrations Speaker Series and Reception in Fine Arts Hall. The event was part of the Investiture Celebrations of the 14th president of Georgia Southern University, Dr. Kyle Marrero, on the evening of Oct. 24.
The university’s honors program enlisted students to hold doors, hand out programs and help people find their seats.
A music major named Gabi Abbott said she attended the event “Because I’m playing. I was invited to play for this event with Eliza.”
Abbott played clarinet and her friend, Eliza played flute during the reception outside the Fine Arts Auditorium.
Uniform wait staff passed around trays of Beef Wellington and stuffed squash blossoms during the reception from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
There were a handful of students in attendance.
Each of the six speakers for the event spoke about what the core values of Georgia Southern University meant to them and what they thought it meant to the university.
First, Chair of the Board of Regents, Regent Don. L. Waters, an Armstrong State University alumnus, spoke on his experiences collaborating with other companies as the president and CEO of Brasseler USA, Inc.
“Now how fitting and inspiration this is to me. The inspiration should be obvious. Through collaboration, by and among Savannah and Statesboro, Georgia Southern was born,” said Waters.
Next, Greg Parker, the President and CEO of Parker Companies, spoke on discovery and innovation, how his company is innovating for the future and how the university needs to do the same.
“In order to thrive moving forward, innovation is not an option, it’s mandatory,” said Parker.
“Educational institutions needs to innovate in order to stay relevant.”
Then, Dr. Ann Levett Ed.D, the superintendent of the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, spoke on openness and inclusion.
“All of those characteristics contribute to our magnificence as a people,” said Levett.
“So, our commitment, if we are really committed to inclusion, is to help people be seen.”
Trip Tollison, the President and CEO of Savannah Economic Development Authority, spoke on sustainability.
“Simply put sustainability is adding more than you’re taking away,” said Tollison.
The Inspector General of the United States Army, Lieutenant General Leslie C. Smith, and a Georgia Southern University alumnus, spoke on integrity and how it relates to the Army as well as Georgia Southern University.
“Integrity, though, is the underpinning of everything we do,” said Smith.
“Our integrity is the key to what we do.”
Chancellor Dr. Steve W. Wrigley Ph.D, who works for the University System of Georgia, spoke on academic excellence.
“Excellence is not being comfortable,” said Wrigley.
Wrigley quoted the line “It’s hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world,” from the Dolly Parton song “Tennessee Homesick Blues.”
Wrigley explained his quote this way, “In a world where it is easy to get by as a rhinestone, shiny on the outside but lacking substance on the inside, it’s hard to sustain a commitment to excellence.”