Carol L. Folt’s upcoming inauguration as USC president will reflect her vision and values, embracing students, faculty and staff while also protecting the environment.
Events scheduled for Sept. 18-20 include an arts showcase and festivities during a Trojans football game. Organizers are also planning several TEDx-style academic symposia on topics from health to the humanities. These will bookend the main event: a formal inauguration ceremony and celebratory lunch for thousands of members of the Trojan Family.
The tentative schedule:
- Wednesday, Sept. 18: Symposium on Health Sciences Campus; arts showcase at Bovard Auditorium on the University Park Campus featuring student works and performances.
- Thursday, Sept. 19: Symposium on the University Park Campus.
- Friday, Sept. 20: Inauguration ceremony at Alumni Park and lunch on McCarthy Quad and surrounding areas (open to students, faculty and staff); football game against Utah.
Folt will join USC as its 12th president on July 1, but the inauguration events later in autumn — after students have returned to class — will provide an opportunity for the university to come together under her new leadership. The inauguration ceremony will be marked by tradition: Delegations from other universities will attend, and USC faculty members will process in their academic regalia.
Details are still being finalized, but attendees can expect sustainable practices throughout the events. Consistent with Folt’s academic background as an ecologist, her inauguration will follow zero-waste principles. Among the events’ many environmentally friendly touches: The lunch will feature locally sourced foods and compostable plates and utensils, and events will be free of single-use plastic water bottles.
As chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Folt launched an initiative in 2016 to cut waste to landfills, minimize water use and reduce emissions at the university. As a result, UNC-Chapel Hill has been ranked as one of the nation’s top schools for sustainability. She has said she aims to bring a similar respect for the environment to USC, which has been ramping up its commitment to sustainability for several years. USC has earned honors for its zero-waste game days during football season at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, among other efforts.
Featuring students and their artistic performances at the inauguration echoes Folt’s values, as well. She is known for putting students at the center of her mission. In addition, under her tenure, UNC-Chapel Hill launched an initiative to bring art into the lives of more members of the university community, an effort in line with USC’s popular Visions and Voices series and the creativity of students and faculty at USC’s seven art schools.
More information about the inauguration events will be shared with the university community in the coming weeks.