LOGAN – Several hundred Aggies, and many more invited friends, gathered Friday evening on campus as part of a formal investiture to install Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell as Utah State University’s 17th president.

An investiture is an academic ceremony to confer the authority and symbols of high office. Typically it is conducted during, or at the conclusion of, a new president’s first year in office.

Dr. Cantwell’s appointment was announced May 19, 2023, and she assumed the role Aug. 1, 2023.

At public appearances her first eight months, and again Friday night, she emphasized USU’s role as a land grant institution, created by the Morrill Act of 1862.

“Utah State University is more than an institution, it’s a testament to the enduring value of the land grant mission. It’s a symbol of high hope for a world in flux and the linchpin in an innovation ecosystem for a future that is yet to unfold,” she said.

Also on hand was Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, a USU graduate, who discarded his prepared remarks in order to tell the story of his years as a USU student, years he said that changed his life.

“President Cantwell, may God bless you as you take on this enormous responsibility of educating, lifting, helping those kids from small towns like Fairview, Utah to believe in themselves, but to be humble enough to believe in others,” he said.

The crowd in the Newel & Jean Daines Concert Hall also heard from Geoffrey Landward, commissioner of the Utah System of Higher Education, Jacey Skinner, chair of the USU Board of Trustees and Javier Chavez, board member of the Utah Board of Higher Education.

The ceremony included an academic procession featuring delegates from various colleges and universities along with USU faculty, all wearing colorful academic regalia of their own alma mater.

A reception followed the ceremony in the Merrill-Cazier Library, including the introduction of a new Aggie Ice Cream flavor in honor of President Cantwell.

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