GREENSBORO -- Plans are being finalized for the inauguration of Thomas W. Ross as the 17th president of the University of North Carolina, the oldest public university in America. The formal ceremony will be held on Thursday, October 6, at 10 a.m. in the Ellis F. Corbett Sports Center on the campus of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. The event is open to the public. 

The festivities begin at 9:30 a.m. with an academic procession—led by the NC A&T State University Marching Band—that will begin at the New Classroom Academic Building on Bluford Street and proceed to the Corbett Center. Participants will include state and educational leaders, faculty, students, alumni, and other university delegates from across the state and nation. In addition to President Ross’s oath of office and inaugural address, the ceremony will include performances by the UNC School of the Arts Orchestra and a 110-member combined choral ensemble comprised of students from NC A&T and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. A public reception will immediately follow in the nearby NC A&T Alumni-Foundation Event Center.

Free parking for those attending the inauguration will be available at several convenient locations: War Memorial Stadium, Aggie Football Stadium, United House of Prayer for All People, United Institutional Baptist Church, and the Greensboro Coliseum. Continuous shuttle service will run directly between these parking venues and the A&T campus beginning at 7:30 a.m. The last shuttle back to these lots will depart the campus at 3 p.m.        

UNC-TV will provide taped coverage of the inaugural ceremony and address beginning at 10 p.m. that evening. Check local listings for the UNC-TV station in your area.

A Greensboro native, Ross became president of the 17-campus University system on January 1 of this year. A graduate of Davidson College and the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law, he had previously served as president of Davidson since 2007. Earlier in his distinguished career, he served as executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, spent 17 years on the bench as a North Carolina Superior Court judge, and served as director of the NC Administrative Office of the Courts. He also has practiced law, served as a congressional staffer, and served on the faculty of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government.

The oldest public university in the nation, the University of North Carolina enrolls more than 220,000 students and encompasses all 16 of North Carolina’s public institutions that grant baccalaureate degrees, as well as the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation’s first public residential high school for gifted students. UNC campuses support a broad array of distinguished liberal-arts programs, two medical schools and one teaching hospital, two law schools, a veterinary school, a school of pharmacy, 11 nursing programs, 15 schools of education, three schools of engineering, and a specialized school for performing artists. The UNC Center for Public Television, with its 11-station statewide broadcast network, is also under the University umbrella.

Additional information about the Inauguration is available on the University of North Carolina website at

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

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