Dr. Farvardin’s Inauguration Ushers in New Era at Stevens

10/18/2011

Dr. Farvardin’s Inauguration Ceremony took place in a transformed, breathtaking Canavan Arena. The walls were swathed in the Stevens red and gray, a plush carpet covered the floor and the Stevens Orchestra played in the corner.

You could feel the excitement and energy as student ambassadors cheered on the academic procession leading into Canavan. At the start of the ceremony, Dr. Dilhan Kalyon, professor and Chair of the Faculty Council, welcomed guests. This was followed by the presentation of the US flag by ROTC students and the national anthem led by the Stevens Choir, who were also stationed in a corner of the stage. Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Maureen P. Weatherall, Vice President for University Enrollment and Chief Administrative Officer, introduced the special guests, including Dr. Steven Chu, the Honorable Kim Guadagno, Lieutenant Governor of NJ, the Honorable Dawn Zimmer, Mayor of Hoboken, delegates from sister universities, and the friends and family of Dr. Nariman Farvardin. Monsignor Robert S. Meyer gave the Invocation and then Dr. Weatherall invited Dr. Lawrence T. Babbio, Chairman of the Stevens Board of Trustees, to offer a welcome.
 
“It gives me great pleasure to welcome the entire community to this historic event as we inaugurate the Seventh President of Stevens Institute of Technology,” said Dr. Babbio. “This is a great day for the University. I assure Dr. Farvardin of the full support of the Board of Trustees, and the entire community.”
 
After a musical interlude, distinguished guests were invited to the stage to offer words of congratulations and good wishes to Dr. Farvardin.
 
The Honorable Kim Guadagno, Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey
“The Governor and I are pleased to welcome you. A hallmark of our Administration has been being bold and innovative and that is what we need from you: bold innovation. The State of NJ is happy to help Stevens however, whenever we can. You have done so much for the people of NJ and my pledge to you is that the Christie Administration is committed to helping you continue the 140-year legacy you’ve already established.”
 
The Honorable Dawn Zimmer, Mayor of Hoboken
“I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Farvardin several times and let me just say, you are in very, very capable hands. I look forward to continuing to work together with the Stevens community on many projects and strengthening our partnership. The City of Hoboken and I are here for you whatever you need.”
 
Provost George Korfiatis, Stevens Provost
“This is a defining moment for Stevens for two reasons. First, Dr. Farvardin joins our community officially, bringing with him an extensive background and commitment to our future. But also this is the time that this country needs universities to help maintain its development of great leaders.”
 
Dr. Dilhan Kalyon, Chairman of the Faculty Council
“On behalf of the faculty, I want to express our strong, heartfelt belief that Dr. Farvardin will lead Stevens to new heights: Only from the heart can you reach the sky. We recognize that it will not be easy to achieve all our goals, but it is our pledge to work closely with Dr. Farvardin to help the University meet its challenges.”
 
Dr. Jeong Kim, Executive Vice President of Alcatel-Lucent and President of Bell Labs and Corporate Strategy
“All of the positive things being said about Dr. Farvardin are true. He is a very special person; a true change agent. He doesn’t expect anything less than the best. Embrace change because as great as this University is, when I come back in a few years, it will be even better.”
 
Richard Sanchez, Computer Engineering Student ‘12
“We, the student body, support you, Dr. Farvardin, as you work to bring Stevens to new heights and increase our global recognition. We ask you to embrace, empower and inspire us, and we pledge the same to you. Our campus is not a destination but a starting point on our life-long journey. We welcome you to our home, and now yours.”
 
Mark LaRosa ’93, President of Stevens Alumni Association
“When we launched our search for a new president, I thought we may be asking too much to find in one person. Then we found Dr. Farvardin, whose entire journey echoes our motto – per aspera ad astra. Dr. Farvardin, on behalf of our 30,000+ living alumni, you have our support.”
 
The tributes continued via a video welcome from the Stevens Community. Carmen Balthrop, accompanied by Lester Green, performed a moving musical dedication to Dr. Farvardin, singing a song that spoke of new beginnings.
 
The Investiture was next, with Dr. Babbio, Steven Schulman, Chairman of the Presidential Search Committee, Dr. Korfiatis, and Hoveida, Dr. Farvardin’s wife, participating in the official installation.
 
After Dr. Farvardin confirmed that he accepted the challenge of preserving and strengthening the University for years to come, Dr. Babbio declared: “By the power invested in me as Chairman of the Board of Trustees, I now confer on you the title of President of Stevens Institute of Technology.”
 
Thunderous applause and a standing ovation accompanied Dr. Farvardin as he made his way to the podium to make his Inaugural Address: “I am grateful for your trust; aware of the responsibility of this; mindful and respectful of the vision and mission set out for me; and humbled and honored to be the Seventh President of Stevens Institute of Technology.”
 
His heartfelt and moving speech was filled with gratitude and reverence, personal messages for friends and family, and pledges to all members of the Stevens community, whom he addressed individually and with sincerity.
 
Just before the Inauguration Ceremony concluded with the singing of the Stevens Alma Mater and the recessional, Dr. Farvardin concluded his address:
 
“I stand here today to accept this role and pledge to do whatever is required. I am grateful for the privilege of this service. I have unbridled optimism for what we will accomplish together.”
 
Watch Dr. Farvardin’s Inauguration speech plus Stevens Inaugural performances by the Stevens Choir, Stevens Inauguration Orchestra and Soprano, Carmen Balthrop.