Historian Ellis to Join Bair for Inauguration Ceremony Saturday Morning, September 26
CHESTERTOWN, MD—Sheila C. Bair will be inaugurated and installed as the 28th president of Washington College on Saturday morning, September 26, beginning at 10:30 on the campus lawn. Special guest for the ceremony will be best-selling historian Joseph Ellis, who will join Bair in making remarks. Also expected to attend and offer greetings is U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski.
Joseph J. Ellis is a leading scholar of American history and author of nine books, including the 2001 Pulitzer Prize winner Founding Brothers, the 1997 National Book Award winner American Sphinx: The Character of Thomas Jefferson, and the 2005 bestseller His Excellency: George Washington. His latest history, The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 was published by Random House in May. His essays, book reviews and commentaries appear regularly in major media outlets.
“We are pleased to host one of the foremost historians of the Founding Fathers—or Brothers, as he has written—to help mark another chapter of history at the first college chartered in the new nation they created,” Bair said in announcing Ellis’s participation. “It’s especially meaningful to have a scholar who has written extensively about George Washington, a figure who gave his name and 50 guineas to get this College off to an auspicious start in 1782.”
A series of Inaugural festivities begins in Decker Theatre on Thursday, September 24, at 5:00 p.m. when former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson joins Bair for a symposium on global economic and environmental issues, including the Chinese economy and its effects on world markets. Titled “Our World, Their Future: How the Environment and the Global Economy will Affect the Next Generation,” their conversation will be moderated by CNBC Chief White House Correspondent John Harwood, with an introduction by Steve Clemons, Washington Editor at Large for The Atlantic.
The following evening, Friday, September 25, the winner of the 2015 George Washington Book Prize will be feted. Author Nick Bunker will talk about his winning book, An Empire on Edge: How Britain Came to Fight America with C.V. Starr Center director Adam Goodheart. That event begins with a book signing in the Underwood Lobby of the Gibson Center for the Arts at 4:15 p.m.; the talk is slated to begin at 5:00 in Decker Theatre.
Rounding out the weekend’s festivities, RiverFest will follow the formality of Saturday morning’s Inauguration ceremony with laid-back fun on the Chester River. Produced jointly by the Center for Environment & Society and Chestertown’s RiverArts, the waterfront festival will include food, exhibitions, paddle races and the ever-popular cardboard-boat race. The event starts at noon, and the cardboard boat race gets underway at 3:00 p.m. At 6:00 p.m., everyone is invited to parade to the foot of High Street for a dramatic finale: the illumination of a floating sculpture designed by woodworking artisan Vicco von Voss, a 1991 graduate of Washington College. (Find the full RiverFest schedule at chestertownriverarts.org/events/riverfest.)
All inauguration events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.washcoll.edu/inauguration.