University of Rochester

Inauguration Set for Joel Seligman, 10th University of Rochester President

October 6, 2005

The University of Rochester community and the public are invited to celebrate the inauguration of Joel Seligman as the University's 10th president at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, at the Eastman Theatre. The ceremony will be marked by welcoming remarks, honorary degree presentations, and an inaugural address by Seligman, who assumed office July 1.

"This is a singular occasion in the life of this University," said G. Robert Witmer, Jr., chairman of the University Board of Trustees and an alumnus. "Each leader has put his own stamp on the institution, and we are looking forward to Joel Seligman's tenure as he leads this great institution on an ambitious and inspiring course."

A 1971 magna cum laude graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles and a cum laude graduate of Harvard University School of Law in 1974, Seligman served on the law faculty of Northeastern University, George Washington University, and the University of Michigan. He was named dean of the University of Arizona College of Law in 1995, and, in 1999, became dean of the Washington University School of Law. At Washington University, he is credited with masterminding a strategic plan that helped raise the law school's national and international profile.

Seligman, one of the nation's leading experts on securities law, is the coauthor, with the late Louis Loss, of the 11 volume Securities, the leading treatise in the field, and author of The Transformation of Wall Street: A History of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Modern Corporation Finance. He also is the author or coauthor of 20 books and more than 40 articles on legal issues related to securities and corporations.

The new president and his wife, Friederike Seligman, a scholar of Slavic languages and literature, will enter the Eastman Theatre together. Mr. Seligman succeeds Thomas H. Jackson, the University's ninth president who stepped down June 30 after 11 years in office. He is now a Distinguished University Professor.

In honor of the new president, the University's Eastman School of Music faculty will present the world premiere of Quaerere et Invenire by internationally known composer and music scholar Robert Morris of Eastman. The work for piano and winds was commissioned for the occasion.

At the ceremony, honorary degrees will be conferred on leaders of distinguished national universities: Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger, University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann, and New York University President John Sexton. Dr. William A. Peck, former executive vice chancellor for medical affairs at Washington University in St. Louis and an alumnus of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, will receive the Hutchison Medal, the highest award given to alumni.

All four of those given special recognition will participate in an Inaugural Symposium titled "Directions in Higher Education for the 21st Century" at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 23 in Strong Auditorium on the University of Rochester's River Campus. Hugo Sonnenschein, president emeritus of the University of Chicago and an alumnus of Rochester, will serve as moderator of the panel.

Faculty, student, and alumni representatives will deliver welcome addresses and Witmer, Board of Trustees chair, will preside over the investiture and offer opening remarks at the inauguration. "We should remember that after 155 years, Joel is only our 10th president. His inauguration represents a rare opportunity for all members of the University community to celebrate our shared values as a learning community," Witmer said.

The inauguration ceremony and the morning symposium will be recorded by public broadcasting station WXXI-TV and aired at a later date. The inauguration can be seen live on the University's Web site,

A reception following the inauguration will be held at the University's Memorial Art Gallery. The public is invited to attend and should register at

While the symposium and afternoon ceremony are free, guests are asked to register at Free parking will be available at all events, and shuttle buses will make frequent trips among the campuses of the University of Rochester throughout the day.