Central State University this week will mark its 126th Charter Day and the inauguration ceremony for its first female president, Cynthia Jackson-Hammond, who was just named one of the nation’s 25 leading women in higher education by Diverse Issues in Higher Education magazine.
The historically black university’s celebration begins on Monday with student service projects and wraps on Thursday with a sold-out gala to raise scholarship funds at the Dayton Arts Institute.
The public is invited to attend the official swearing in for Jackson-Hammond at 11 a.m. Thursday in the Paul Robeson Cultural Arts Center. Jackson-Hammond, the university’s eighth president, began her tenure in July.
“It’s an exciting new era at Central State,” said spokeswoman Gayle Barge. “Our president has really come forward with a vision that’s going to take us to a new level.”
Other events open to the public include the Charter Day Convocation at 10 a.m. Tuesday in the Robeson center featuring a keynote address by noted civil rights activists David Myers and Winona Beemer Myers, a 1967 CSU graduate, and who were members of the Freedom Riders. On Wednesday, the public can attend a 10 a.m. inter-faith service in the center and learn more about student and faculty research at presentations from 1 to 2:30 p.m. throughout campus.
“This celebration is about the community and it’s about Central State, together,” Barge said. “There’s so much that’s open to the public and we really welcome them to come. This university belongs to the state of Ohio. We invite them to come see their university.”
“It’s an opportunity for the university to again talk about where it’s been and where it’s going,” Barge said.
Monday: Marauder Service Day project for student volunteers in Dayton, Wilberforce and Xenia. Grand opening ceremony for Little Free Library 4698 and Drop-In Reading Center, 11 a.m., 840 Germantown, Dayton. Service project to collect books.
Tuesday: 126th Charter Day Ceremony, 10 a.m. to 12 noon. Charles and Winonah Beemer Myers will share reflections on their civil rights experiences as Freedom Riders in the South during 1961. Art exhibit and student recitals, 2 to 4 p.m.
Wednesday: Inter-faith service, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Faculty and student research presentations, 1 to 2:30 p.m., throughout campus.
Thursday: Inauguration ceremony, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with reception and scholarship gala at the Dayton Arts Institute.
*All events help in the Paul Robeson Cultural & Performing Arts on campus unless otherwise noted