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OU to hold celebratory events for inauguration of President Joseph Harroz

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OU President Joseph Harroz speaks to reporters at Evans Hall during an interview May 14.

OU will celebrate the inauguration of OU President Joseph Harroz as the university’s 15th president during a 10 a.m. ceremony on Sept. 17 at the Lloyd Noble Center.

Harroz’s presidency began May 9, 2020, but the pandemic postponed all celebratory events until now, according to a university press release. 

The inauguration festivities will begin with a celebration dinner on Sept. 16 in the Molly Shi Boren Ballroom of the Oklahoma Memorial Union, according to a university press release. 

Following the inauguration ceremony, there will be a party at 11:30 a.m. on the South Oval and tours of the Boyd House, the official residence of the university president, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., according to the release. All inauguration events are open to the entire OU community and the public, but individuals must reserve seats for the Thursday celebration dinner. 

Following the university’s announcement of the inauguration on Twitter, members of the OU and Norman community voiced their excitement and frustrations surrounding the inaugural events. While some wrote they were looking forward to celebrating Harroz as he leads the university into the SEC, others were more critical of the celebration. 

Harroz was unanimously selected by the OU Board of Regents in May 2020 to serve as OU’s president following one year as interim president and has since worked to develop the university’s "Lead On, University strategic plan," according to the release. 

Harroz has also partnered alongside Oklahoma business communities and federal, state, tribal and private sectors to fuel economic growth, which has helped shape the budget for university initiatives, including the development of a secure innovation research center and appropriations toward the state’s matching funds for endowed chair positions. 

“The University of Oklahoma is incredibly fortunate to have a visionary leader at the helm like Joe Harroz, whose first year as OU president has been anything but normal,” Michael A. Cawley, the Board of Regents’ chair, said in the release. “President Harroz’s steady leadership during these unprecedented times demonstrates not only his unwavering devotion to the university’s collective well-being but also his tireless commitment to champion OU to new levels of excellence. We look forward to celebrating his exceptional service and leadership at his inauguration.”

news reporter

Taylor Jones is a journalism sophomore and news reporter at The Daily.

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