the inauguration of kevin f. hallock

Inauguration weekend celebrates Spider community

March 21, 2022


The inauguration of Kevin F. Hallock as the University of Richmond’s 11th president is a celebration of the UR community and will showcase student research and a conversation on higher education with university presidents, as well as feature live music, fireworks, and football.

“Inauguration affords us an opportunity to take stock of where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going as an institution,” Hallock said. “I’m immensely proud to be part of a community that has worked so hard to empower students of all backgrounds to take full advantage of the outstanding and distinctive education we offer.” 

Inauguration weekend April 7-9 includes:

  • Celebrating Spider Success in Mentored Research: A Discussion, 3 p.m., April 7, Queally Center for Admission and Career Services
  • Inauguration Ceremony, 10:30 a.m., April 8, Robins Center
  • Community Festival, 12:30-3 p.m., April 8, Westhampton Green
  • The Future of Higher Education: A Conversation with University Presidents, 3:30 p.m., April 8, Queally Center for Admission and Career Services
  • Evening Celebration, 7-9:45 p.m., April 8, Millhiser Green in front of the Well-Being Center
  • Spring Football Game (scrimmage), 1 p.m., April 9, Robins Stadium

“When folks hear the word ‘inauguration,’ they think about the ceremony, the act of installation of a president,” said Dara Gocheski, chief of staff. “This weekend is about the community. It’s a celebration of our remarkable community.”

Gocheski brought together individuals from across campus to create a planning committee that would provide different perspectives and a wide range of ideas. We asked, “How can we be intentional in this planning process to share in it and to reach out to partners throughout our campus and make them feel a part of something so exciting?”

As a member of the planning committee, Morgan Russell-Stokes, dean for Student Equity and Inclusion, has focused on how the weekend events are perceived by students. “Belonging has been part of the charge,” said Russell-Stokes, who also serves as director of the Student Center for Equity and Inclusion. “That’s all through the inauguration. That’s the most exciting part of it.”

The group has met since October and continues to ideate and iterate throughout the planning process. “We kept ourselves open to continue to dialogue and also to maintain a sense of openness and agility – something we learned from the pandemic,” Gocheski said. “We continue thinking and dreaming, but we’re also executing.”

Throughout the process, the organizers recognized that inauguration is a moment in time, but it’s more. “It has the ability to continue good momentum and to bring people together and increase the sense of belonging when done right,” Gocheski said.

Inauguration weekend intentionally offers many different types of events and many ways to participate. “It’s a continuing celebration,” she said. “It’s something that I’m really proud of – these inauguration festivities are a place where I hope folks will feel welcome. Everyone should come to these events as they are.”