Nearly 1,500 people attended the inauguration Saturday of Margee Ensign as Dickinson College’s 29th president, including civic, government and religious leaders from three African nations and senior leaders from 15 colleges and universities.

The ceremony was held in conjunction with Dickinson’s Homecoming & Family Weekend as part of a broader, weekend-long focus on community engagement and service. In her inaugural address, Ensign highlighted the critical importance of providing a useful education for the common good and shared the stories of several Dickinson alumni whose life work exemplifies that mission.

“Dickinson has never been an ivory tower,” Ensign said during her speech. “Dickinson is a place where students and faculty go out into our local neighborhood, out to the far reaches of the globe, to learn firsthand about problems … and to work for the common good.”

“Dickinson College is an integral part of our community, and our relationship dates back to the Revolutionary War,” said Carlisle Mayor Timothy Scott. “We hope to continue that special relationship and strengthen it under your leadership.”

More than 60 delegates of colleges, universities and other institutions are part of the academic procession. They include Frances Donnelly Wolf, First Lady of Pennsylvania, an alumna and trustee of Franklin & Marshall College; the presidents of Lafayette College, Susquehanna University, New College of Florida and Rosemont College; and Ambassador of Rwanda, Mathilde Mukantabana.

Board of Trustees Chair John Jones presided over the ceremony, which was highlighted by a keynote address from Vice President Emeritus of the Republic of Uganda Gilbert Bukenya, who met Ensign when she spoke before the Uganda Parliament and has known her for 23 years.

“This college could not have chosen anyone better than Dr. Ensign,” said Bukenya, a physician, consultant, researcher and educator who has contributed significantly to global public health and fought for human rights and democracy for the last four decades. “Under her stewardship, Dickinson College will stride into new frontiers that will remain memorable in the annals of its history.”

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