News Briefs: Feb. 26

EMU’s president James Smith to be inaugurated

James M. Smith – Eastern Michigan University’s 23rd president – will be inaugurated at Pease Auditorium, March 2 at 2 p.m.

“The theme of the day will focus on supporting student success across the University,” said President Smith in a message to the campus.

A list of events for the day include: a Delegate and Platform reception at McKinney Hall, an academic march from McKinney Hall to Pease Auditorium, a campus celebration at McKinney after the inauguration and a scholarship dinner reception at the Ann Arbor Marriott.

The inauguration ceremony is open to the public, but tickets are needed to attend. Tickets can be purchased through or at a ticket box office located on campus.

The scholarship reception dinner at the Ann Arbor Marriott starts at 6:30 p.m. According to the inauguration website, “The president’s focus has and will always be on providing students the opportunity to excel and graduate.”

“The Presidential Difference Makers Scholarship will financially assist an outstanding undergraduate or graduate student at Eastern Michigan University. The dinner is $150 per guest, which in its entirety, benefits the Presidential Difference Makers Scholarship. As a difference maker contributor, you can maximize your impact by considering an additional donation above the cost of attendance.”

About President Smith

Before coming to EMU, Smith served as president of Northern State University (NSU) in Aberdeen, South Dakota since June 2009. For the past seven years (2008-2015), US News and World Report named NSU as one of the best undergraduate public institutions in the Midwest.

He has been an active fundraiser and was instrumental in helping NSU obtain the largest donation in its history, a $15 million gift.

Smith, 60, who grew up near Columbus, Ohio, knew early on that he wanted to be a teacher. He always had admired teachers and enjoyed school. He became an elementary and middle school teacher after earning his Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education, from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in 1979. He would go on to earn a Master of Education, Educational Administration, from Xavier University in Cincinnati and a Doctor of Philosophy, Educational Leadership, from Miami University.

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