Nine months after beginning her tenure as Sonoma State University's seventh president, Judy K. Sakaki received the presidential medallion from California State University Chancellor Timothy White at her formal Investiture ceremony on Thursday, April 20 in Weill Hall at the Green Music Center.
"It's been quite a dance and a time of change for the campus and for me," said Sakaki, giving a nod to the event's "Dance with Change" theme. "I am thankful for all that everyone has done to embrace the dance and to work together -- to stretch, to question, to engage, to contribute, to trust, and to re-imagine a student-centered university."
Chancellor White said, "I'm confident students will look to Judy, to her journey, to her vision, her passion, her presence and her example, to help them see they too, belong, and Sonoma State is right for them."
The Ohio State University President Michael Drake, a mentor of Dr. Sakaki's, praised her as "one of the bright stars of the education galaxy."
The ceremony featured creative works by several Sonoma State faculty and students, including a poem by SSU English Professor Kim Hester Williams, a student dance performance, and the premiere of a new Sonoma State Alma Mater composed by Music Department Chair Brian S. Wilson with lyrics by English Department Chair Brantley Bryant. There was also a Coast Miwok blessing, an Buddhist offering of gratitude, a Taiko drumming performance and speeches from community members and Sonoma State faculty, staff, alumni and students.
Investiture Day also featured a mini-conference in the Student Center and other areas of campus, with more than 50 student and faculty presentations, performances and posters on display in the morning. Nearly all the sessions in the Student Center were attended to capacity or standing room only.
After a reception in Trione Courtyard and Weill Lawn following the ceremony, the community enjoyed a free concert by jazz fusion group Hiroshima in Weill Hall.