Inauguration Traditions

Dave McFadden Inauguration

The Presidential Medallion

During the inaugural ceremony, Dr. David F. McFadden received the Presidential Medallion from Board Chair D. Randall Brown. The silver-plated medallionbronze medallion is a symbol of the office President McFadden has been called to serve. He will wear it in all academic processions and other ceremonial occasions.

The Presidential Medallion is 3½ inches in diameter, supported by a necklace of 24 silver-plated discs. President McFadden's name is engraved on one of the discs, along with each of the 14 Manchester University presidents who have preceded him – a reminder of the leadership heritage of Manchester University. The Medallion itself bears the University Seal, which illustrates the traditions, mission and values of learning, faith and service. On the opposite side of the Medallion are a laurel wreath symbolizing distinction, an ensign as a badge of responsibility, a torch of enlightenment of learning, and a terrestrial globe symbolizing the universal character of education.


Academic Regalia

Participants in the ceremony donned traditional academic dress that dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries, when universities were regaliaformed. Scholars then wore simple robes with hoods, which eventually gave way to more colorful and varied attire. By the 19th century, universities in the United States standardized the practice of trimming hoods with color, designating disciplines with specific hues. Red, a traditional color of the church, for example, signifies theology. Green, the color of medieval herbs, represents medicine. Golden yellow was assigned to the sciences, symbolizing the "wealth which scientific research has produced," according to American Universities and Colleges, which lists 27 colors, such as sage green (physical education), purple (law), drab (accountancy and business), light blue (education), dark blue (philosophy), and pink (music), for various disciplines. The robes of American scholars typically are black, unlike their European peers. The style of the hood and the cut of the gown reflect the highest degree earned by the wearer. In addition to the velvet edging, hoods are lined in the colors of the institution.



The Anthem 

President McFadden commissioned Manchester graduate Shawn Kirchner ’92 to compose the inauguration anthem, “Only Now.” The anthem lyrics are adapted from the novel Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry, one of McFadden’s favorite authors. “Only Now” reflects the inaugural shawn-kirchnertheme of “Abundance” and the surprise, opportunity and responsibility that spring from the abundance we discover in our lives and at Manchester. The opening line of “Only Now, “The light that had lighted us into the world was lighting us through it,” speaks of our collective journey.

Kirchner, is a composer and songwriter active in Los Angeles music circles. The Swan Family Composer in Residence of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, he is best known for his arrangement of the Kenyan song, “Wana Baraka.” The Cedar Falls, Iowa, native also is a pianist, organist and composer-in-residence at the La Verne Church of the Brethren in La Verne, Calif. He earned his master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of Iowa.


The Chime

The inaugural ceremony concluded with a “change ringing” of the University Chime, a sequence of orderly notes dating from 17th century England used to celebrate joyous occasions. The Chime ringer was Ruth Ritchey Moore of Bryan, Ohio, a sophomore majoring in elementary education.


International Flags

Manchester University is committed to developing an international consciousness within our academic community. In addition to the United Nations flag, the flags in the inaugural processional represented the homelands of our students and study abroad locations.
Also in the processional was the red-over-white flag of Indonesian, a nation where Dave and Renee McFadden spent many years and which remains dear to their hearts.International flags are on display every day in Haist Commons of the Jo Young Switzer Center.