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Oct. 20, 2009
Hundreds of dignitaries, delegates and community members joined Georgia State faculty, staff and students Monday at the investiture of Mark P. Becker as the university's seventh president. The day-long celebration, themed "Envisioning Our Second Century," featured a procession down Piedmont Avenue with drummers, the Georgia State ROTC and more than 100 delegates representing colleges, universities and organizations from around the country. The procession also featured more than 150 GSU faculty members, vice presidents and deans, officers of the university as well as Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle. All were robed in formal academic regalia.
The ceremony, held in a made-over Georgia State Sports Arena, included music from the Georgia State School of Music, greetings from faculty, staff, students and alumni representatives as well as from Franklin and Cagle. Robert F. Hatcher, vice chair of the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, also provided greetings. Erroll B. Davis Jr. officially installed Becker, who was flanked by his wife, Laura Voisinet, his daughter, Julia Becker, and GSU president emeritus Carl V. Patton. Former GSU president Sherman Day also was present. Former Atlanta mayor and U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young also attended.
In his investiture address, Becker said GSU would focus on three action-items in its second 100 years, which begins in 2013. They are: recognized excellence in education and research, community partnerships and the local-global balance.
"In its second century, GSU will be recognized as one of the world’s preeminent urban universities," Becker said. "Let us work together to make that vision a reality, sooner rather than later."
Read the full text of President Mark P. Becker's speech.