The Inauguration of President Wim Wiewel

Lewis & Clark officially welcomes its 25th president.

Lewis & Clark officially welcomes its 25th president.

Credit: Steve Hambuchen

Fresh from celebrating its 150th anniversary, Lewis & Clark opened a new chapter in its history on October 5 with the inauguration of President Wim Wiewel.

Wiewel arrived on campus last fall after serving nine years as president of Portland State University. Since assuming the presidency at Lewis & Clark, he has led fundraising initiatives that have produced more than $34 million in gifts and pledges—including a new $8.4 million gift (in the form of a charitable trust) for scholarships, which he announced during his inauguration address. He has also carried out an institution-wide strategic planning process and set the stage for developing a campus master plan. Together, these initiatives will help fulfill the vision of Lewis & Clark as a national leader in higher education.

The inauguration ceremony mirrored many of Wiewel’s signature qualities—warmth, intelligence, confidence, ease, and playfulness. It highlighted many themes important to Wiewel and Lewis & Clark: a deep commitment to the importance of international education, a belief in strong civic engagement, and a dedication to the principles of sustainability.

The ceremony’s featured speakers were Earl Blumenauer BA ’70, JD ’76, U.S. Representative for Oregon’s 3rd Congressional District; Paulette Bierzychudek, William Swindells Sr. Professor of Natural Sciences; Jordan Schnitzer JD ’76, president of Harsch Investment Properties; and Carmen Rubio, executive director of the Latino Network.

In his inaugural address, Wiewel reaffirmed the college’s commitment to the liberal arts:

As I see it, higher education, especially a liberal arts education, has three core purposes: to encourage lifelong exploration of the self and one’s own values; to develop the skills needed to embark on meaningful careers; and to prepare for full—and these days I add “civil”—to prepare for full and civil participation in public life… .

I realize that we make this commitment at a time when many people are questioning the value of higher education in general and the liberal arts in particular. But we choose to double down. Actually, with our three schools, we are tripling down. Each of our three schools is distinct, but all share a common purpose: to empower our graduates to make a positive impact on the world.

Here’s the complete text of Wiewel’s address

 For direct links to specific program elements in the video, visit here.