Campus: CSU, Northridge -- April 09, 2001

Week of Celebration to Highlight CSUN President's Inaugural

Cal State Northridge will host a weeklong public celebration April 16 to 21 ? featuring concerts, lectures, a student "carnaval" and a "Big Picture" - honoring a new era for the campus with the inauguration of President Jolene Koester.

Several thousand guests are expected at the inauguration in front of the Oviatt Library at noon on Thursday, April 19. California State University system Chancellor Charles B. Reed and Board of Trustees Chair Laurence Gould will conduct the investiture of Koester as CSUN's fourth president in its 43-year history.

President Koester, who arrived on campus in July 2000, asked that inaugural events for the week be planned as a celebration of the university. So the week's activities also include the largest series of performances ever by the CSUN Music Department, a "Big Picture" mass campus photo gathering on April 17, and CSUN's inaugural gala and alumni awards on April 19.

"The inaugural is really a celebration of the wonders of the university and the university's major place here in Southern California," said Marcella Tyler, the College of Extended Learning administrator who chaired the campus Inaugural Committee. That group has been planning and organizing the week's events for the past seven months.

"It's also a new beginning of sorts for the university whenever there is a new president," Tyler added. "The fine work of the faculty and the university's array of first-class programs continue. But President Koester's arrival has helped us focus on strengthening CSUN's connections with its community and creating a more user-friendly environment on campus."

The April 19 inaugural will feature the spectacle of hundreds of faculty members and administrators from CSUN and other universities around the country, dressed in full academic regalia, marching onto the Oviatt Library lawn. During the investiture, Chancellor Reed will present President Koester with the CSUN Presidential Medallion, a brass version of the university's seal.

President Koester will then deliver her inaugural speech to the campus community. The inaugural ceremony and speech will be broadcast live over campus radio station KCSN (88.5 FM) between noon and 1:30 p.m. Starting at 11 a.m., KCSN will air a recorded interview with the president. The KCSN broadcasts also can be heard over the Internet at
The noon inauguration and the following 1:30 p.m. reception in the adjoining Sierra Quad are both free and open to the public. The primary public parking location will be CSUN Parking Lot C on the east side of campus along Zelzah Avenue north of Nordhoff Street.

Some of the related activities occurring during the week include:

The Big Picture: At noon Tuesday, April 17, hundreds of CSUN community members will gather on the steps of the Oviatt Library for a commemorative "Big Picture." The best photograph from the event will be used to create a color poster for the campus celebrating the inaugural.

Inaugural Concert: On Wednesday, April 18, the university will host a free, open-to-the-public Inaugural Concert at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. Performing groups include CSUN's African Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra, Northridge Singers, Wind Ensemble, Jazz "A" Band and Faculty Jazz Quartet. To reserve seats, call the Performing Arts Center at (818) 677-3943.

Inaugural Gala/Distinguished Alumni-Emeriti Awards: On Thursday, April 19, CSUN's Inaugural Gala/Distinguished Alumni-Emeriti Awards will be held at the Sheraton Universal Hotel in Universal City. The $75-per-ticket event is sold out with attendance expected to exceed 400. President Koester, four outstanding alumni and a retired faculty member will be honored.

The week of inaugural events also will feature several special CSUN "firsts:"

  • Just prior to the president's inaugural speech, Music Department instructor Timothy Howard will play live music via the 222-bell CSUN campus carillon for the first time ever.
  • To commemorate the inaugural, the Music Department has pressed a special music compact disc titled "Discover CSUN Music" that will be given to special guests. The CD will feature special performances by CSUN's Wind Ensemble, Northridge Singers, Symphony Orchestra and Jazz "A" Band.
  • Faculty and students from CSUN's Music Department will mount their largest series of combined performances ever throughout the inaugural week, with some nine different vocal and music groups performing.

In addition, the Oviatt Library is hosting an inaugural exhibit in the lobby featuring CSUN presidents' photos and campus memorabilia. Elsewhere, students are holding "Carnaval-
A Celebration of Culture and Community" during the week in the University Student Union.

Gold sponsors who have provided major financial support for the inaugural include
(in alphabetical order) ANDERSEN; Arter & Hadden LLP; The Boeing Company, Sam and Emarie Britten; the Los Angeles Times Valley Edition; MiniMed Inc.; the Walter Lantz Foundation, and Washington Mutual.

Silver sponsors who also have provided financial support for the inaugural include Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Center/Tenet Healthcare Foundation; Grobstein, Horwath & Company LLP, and Wells Fargo Bank.

A complete schedule of inaugural events is available on CSUN's web site at More information about inaugural events is available from the CSUN Public Relations Office at (818) 677-2130.

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