Dr. Douglas N. Searcy will be officially sworn in as the 12th president of Barton College on Friday, April 15, in the first inauguration ceremony in over a decade. This marks the third induction ceremony in 33 years.
The inauguration ceremony will be set on Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. The board of trusties, faculty members and donors to the college will all be in attendance. It is not a mandatory event but students are highly encouraged to attend.
Dr. Gary Daynes, the vice president of academic affairs and a member of the planning committee for the inauguration ceremony, said, “The inauguration symbolizes both change and continuity. It notes a change in president and celebrates the arrival of the new president to Barton’s Community.”
According to a planning committee member, both Dr. Norval Kneten and Dr. James Hemby, the previous two Barton presidents, have been invited to attend. Hemby was president of Barton College from 1983 to 2003.
According to the Barton College archives, Hemby’s presidency brought iconic buildings such as the KRIC, the Ragan Writing Center, the Performing Arts Center and the Alumni Bell Tower.
Hemby also helped expand international partnerships and renamed the college from Atlantic Christian College to Barton College.
At the end of the ceremony, a college medallion with the Barton College seal will be placed around Searcy’s neck by the chair of the board of trusties. The medallion is meant to symbolize the change and continuity of the college.
Daynes said, “When Dr. Searcy receives and wears that medallion, he is showing that he (and the faculty, staff, and students of the college) are committed to maintaining and strengthening the things that make Barton an excellent place to learn.”
By McKennon Griffin