Dr. Blandina Cárdenas will be officially installed as the seventh president of The University of Texas-Pan American in a formal ceremony - investiture - Dec. 3 in which she will be endowed with the powers and responsibilities of the office.
Dr. Rodolfo Arévalo, provost/vice president for Academic Affairs and co-chair of the Investiture Committee, said it is important the UTPA community get involved in the Presidential Investiture series of events, which will be held Dec. 1-4.
"The significance (of the investiture) to the University is that a new president will be invested and recognized as the new head of the institution," Arévalo said. "It is ceremony which invites all members of the university academy of scholars to participate in the acknowledgement of this new president and the identification of new leadership."
A series of events leading up to the main event on Dec. 3 will feature a concert titled "From Mariachi to Mozart," Dec. 1, 8-10 p.m. at the UTPA Fine Arts Auditorium; a President's Ball (Alumni gala), Dec. 2, 6:30 p.m.-midnight at the UTPA Fieldhouse; a UTPA Student Leaders' Luncheon, Dec. 2, noon at the University Ballroom.
Cárdenas said investiture will be a historic event for all the UTPA community and the outside public. The last investiture occurred Dec. 6, 1981 when Dr. Miguel A. Nevárez was installed as the sixth president of the University.
"This is not 'my' event. I want the faculty, staff, the students and the community to participate in 'our' event - an event that marks a new beginning and heralds an exciting time for this University."
The Presidential Investure will commence Dec. 3, 2 p.m. at the UTPA Fine Arts Auditorium with a reception to follow for the University family and invited guests. The event will also be televised at the Student Union Theater for UTPA students to witness.
"The highlights of the investiture program will be the actual investiture. The ceremony will provide the opportunity for a community of scholars to receive the new president and to hear from her about her vision and dreams for the University," Arévalo said.
Lynda López, public relations specialist II in the Office of the President, said investiture will feature a lot of pomp and circumstance, faculty participation, and it will commemorate the passing of the presidential medallion to Cárdenas from Nevárez.
"While some universities have done away with this centuries-old academic tradition, most institutions of higher learning continue to recognize and mark the change of leadership with great ceremony," López said.
To conclude the series of events for investiture, Cárdenas will also serve as the co-grand marshal of the Night of Lights Parade, Dec. 4, 6 p.m. at the Edinburg Courthouse.
For more information on the 2004 Presidential Investiture, log on to http://www.panam.edu/president/investiture.htm