A Presidential Celebration: SUU to Inaugurate Michael T. Benson

Published: September 04, 2007 | Read Time: 4 minutes

In conjunction with Southern Utah University’s annual homecoming celebration, the inauguration of President Michael T. Benson at Southern Utah University promises to be full of memorable events that will honor the incoming leader and showcase SUU’s academic community.

Monday, Sept. 17, 2 p.m.
A staged mock debate featuring presidential candidates Harry S Truman and Thomas Dewey will be held in the Sharwan Smith Center Living Room at 2 p.m. Dressed in 1940s attire, SUU Director of Advising, Orientation & Convocation Jeb Branin as Dewey and SUU Senior Isaac Holyoak as Truman will face off as SUU Professor Earl Mulderink moderates with running commentary on the historic events surrounding the 1948 campaign and election. The event, which is open to the public and free of charge, is sponsored by SUU’s Political Science & Criminal Justice department to honor President Benson, who wrote his doctoral dissertation at Oxford on President Harry S. Truman.

Tuesday, Sept. 18, 11:30 a.m.
SUU Professor Jeff Elison will lecture on the destructive nature of shame, guilt and humiliation, discussing how to cope with these self-conscious emotions, at SUU’s annual Distinguished Faculty Honor Lecture. The free event will take place in SUU’s Auditorium on the northeast corner of campus.

Wednesday, Sept. 19, 9 a.m.
The Presidential Rhetoric Program featuring three top national academics and President Michael T. Benson will focus on American Presidential communication and theories behind of their public rhetoric. President Benson will investigate Harry Truman’s role as President, SUU Professor Stan Gwin will examine inaugural addresses, SUU Professor Matt Barton will discuss President Bill Clinton’s apologies for his moral diversions, and the University of Southern Mississippi’s Professor Keith V. Erickson will discuss the unique tactics Presidents have employed to gain the nation’s favor. Full of insightful perspectives on U.S. history, the panel discussion is sure to reveal the humorous side of political agendas.

Wednesday, Sept. 19, noon
SUU’s College of Performing and Visual Arts will showcase their brightest students in an art gala. The afternoon event in SUU’s Auditorium is a free open house art show featuring both performance art and display pieces.

Thursday, Sept. 20, noon
President Benson’s Inaugural Golf Tournament is an amateur competition for golf lovers everywhere—including President Benson himself. Participants will compete in a four-man scramble at the Cedar Ridge Golf Course. Bradshaw Chevrolet Buick is the event’s sponsor, and is offering a free 2007 Buick Lacrosse for the tournament’s first hole-in-one.

Thursday, Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m.
Three respected leaders have been invited from across the nation to discuss their professional experience and success. Each speaker has followed a distinct path to becoming a well-known leader, and each will give insight into how they accomplished their goals and inspired others. SUU’s distinguished guests are NFL Pro-Bowler and NBC Sports Anchor Vai Sikahema, Franklin Covey Co-Founder Hyrum Smith, and former Miss SUU, current Miss Utah and future Miss America hopeful Jill Stevens. The event will take place in Cedar City’s Heritage Center on downtown Main Street, and is open to the public.

Friday, Sept. 21, 1 p.m.
The installation ceremony of SUU’s 15th president will take place in SUU’s Centrum Arena, where President Michael T. Benson will receive the official right to govern Southern Utah University. A procession of students, faculty, staff and institutional delegates from all over the world will stand together in support of President Benson and the University’s continued success. The event is open to the public, and as the first formal inauguration ceremony in SUU’s past 24 years, promises to be one for the history books.

Friday, Sept. 21, 3 p.m.
Following the formal inauguration, SUU will host an open house reception for President Benson in the Sharwan Smith Center Rotunda. There will be live music and light refreshments for all, and SUU campus and community members are encouraged to take this opportunity to meet and speak with the school’s new leader.

Friday, Sept. 21, 8:30 p.m.
SUU’s Centrum will be packed Friday night as the Goo Goo Dolls perform songs from their latest CD, Let Love In. The concert is sponsored by SUU alumnus Garrett Gunderson, the Freedom Fast Track and Southern Utah University’s Student Association, and with tickets nearly sold out one month in advance, will be the first event in SUU history without an empty seat in the building.

The above Inauguration Week events are all open to the public. Please join the SUU community as we welcome our new president and celebrate the people and programs behind SUU's continued growth and success.

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