Inauguration of Rhodes’ 20th President Set for This Weekend

head and shoulder image of a smiling college administrator

Dr. Marjorie Hass will be formally installed as the 20th president of Rhodes College on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018. The ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. in the multi-sports forum of the Bryan Campus Life Center on campus. The Rhodes community, invited guests, and the media are welcome to attend inauguration weekend.

Events begin on Friday, Jan. 12, with morning sessions, “Open Windows on Academic Life,” focusing on four topics—big ideas, artistic expression, learning in the community, and mentored student scholarship. Lectures and performances will take place in various locations on campus. At 4:30 p.m. on the first floor of the Paul Barret, Jr. Library, Hass will moderate a panel of distinguished college presidents discussing the impact that liberal arts colleges have on the cities in which they are located and the way the cities foster teaching and learning. Panelists include President Joanne Berger-Sweeney of Trinity College, Hartford, Conn.; President Elizabeth Kiss of Agnes Scott College, Decatur, Ga; and President Michael Sorrell of Paul Quinn College, Dallas, Texas. 

On Saturday, delegates from colleges, universities, and academic communities from around the country will gather with the Rhodes community for the inauguration. Rhodes College faculty members, trustees, delegates, and special guests will process into the ceremony in academic regalia. The ceremony will be followed by a reception in the Crain Reception Hall and McCallum Ballroom of the Bryan Campus Life Center.

Traditionally, a college or university holds the inauguration of a president months after the individual takes office. An accomplished leader and educator, Hass began her tenure at Rhodes July 1, 2017 after serving as president of Austin College in Sherman, Texas, for eight years. Recently, she was named one of “18 Tennesseans to Watch in 2018” by the USA Today Network-Tennessee. Hass earned a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Illinois, Urbana‐Champaign and began her academic career in 1993 at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., as an assistant professor of philosophy. She was promoted to associate professor in 1998 and to professor in 2006, while receiving recognition along the way for her teaching and research focused on the philosophy of language and logic. She also served as the director of the college’s Center for Ethics and as interim dean of the faculty and vice president for academic affairs. Hass was appointed provost in 2005, a position she held until becoming president of Austin College in 2009.  She also has held leadership positions in national higher education organizations including the Council for Independent Colleges, NCAA Division III Management Council, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the Association of American Colleges and Universities.