ESU Announces Plans For Installation of Thirteenth President March G. Welsh, Ph.D.

Posted by: admin on March 28, 2013, No Comments

East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania (ESU) will inaugurate Marcia G. Welsh, Ph.D., as its thirteenth president on April 6, 2013 following a week of special programs and activities to commemorate this historical event. Delegates representing more than 23 universities from around the country, as well as members of the campus and local communities and alumni will be in attendance to mark the event.

The Presidential Inauguration Installation will begin at 10:00 a.m. with a formal procession in which delegates from other institutions of higher education, ESU faculty members, student leaders, alumni board members, and distinguished platform guests will accompany Dr. Welsh to the Abeloff Center for the Performing Arts for the official ceremony.

The ceremony will feature time-honored inaugural traditions including the wearing of academic costumes, a tradition that began in the medieval universities of Europe. Today, academic attire is seen on American campuses only at formal affairs such as commencement, Founder’s Day, dedications and inaugural ceremonies. In 1895, an Academic Costume Code was established, and has since been adopted by most of our colleges and universities. When the code is followed, one can identify the degree which the wearer holds, the university that awarded it, and the course of study it represents.

ESU’s presidential medallion, which was commissioned by the Student Activity Association in 1969 and first used by President Frank D. Sills at his inauguration, will be presented to Dr. Welsh at the ceremony. Dr. Welsh will also carry the university mace which was commissioned by the University Commencement Committee in 1987. The mace will be presented to Dr. Welsh by Patricia Graham, D.Ed., professor of intercultural and interdisciplinary studies, who will serve as grand marshal. The formal investiture and installation of Dr. Welsh will be carried out by Mr. Guido Pichini, chair of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Board of Governors and Peter Garland, M.Ed., Ph.D., PASSHE’s acting chancellor.

The keynote speaker for the installation ceremony is Robert L. Caret, Ph.D., president of the five-campus University of Massachusetts System.  From 2003 to 2011, Dr. Caret was president of Towson University in Maryland, where Dr. Welsh served as provost.  Dr. Welsh will then deliver an inaugural address. Following the inauguration there will be a reception in the Keystone Room for all participants and guests.

The PASSHE Board of Governors appointed Welsh, the first female president of ESU, in April 2012. She assumed her role in July 2012 following the retirement of Robert J. Dillman, Ph.D., who had been president since 1996.  Dr. Welsh earned both her undergraduate degree and master’s degree from Colorado State University.  She earned her doctoral degree in anatomy from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.  Just before arriving at ESU, she was provost and interim president of Towson University in 2011.  Prior to her presidency at ESU, Dr. Welsh served as Graduate School dean at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and provost of Adelphi University.

During the nine short months since her arrival at ESU, Dr. Welsh has already made great strides by creating new committees and partnerships and serving local and regional communities in multiple capacities. Since her arrival, ESU opened its new Lehigh Valley Center in Bethlehem, established a collaborative degree program with The Commonwealth Medical College and announced the launch of LYME-AID, the first commercial licensing agreement of faculty/student research at ESU and within PASSHE.

Inauguration events during the week leading up to the installation ceremony will give students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members opportunities to explore the grounds of the school and become better acquainted with the campus where President Welsh will preside. The festivities will begin on Monday, April 1, and many will be open to the general public.  For a detailed list of inauguration events, visit  The theme of Dr. Welsh’s inauguration is “Great Expectations,” which reflects the vision that she has for the many opportunities at ESU for growth, success and achievement.

Dr. Welsh is married to Dr. Louis Terracio, vice dean of research and professor at NYU’s College of Dentistry. They have three children: Nate, Matthew, and Mallory, and one grandchild, Giovanni.

For more information contact about the installation ceremony for Dr. Welsh, contact Miguel Barbosa, chief of staff, at 570-422-3545 or at