Inauguration FAQs

The Inauguration Planning Committee offers these FAQs to better assist you with understanding the ceremony related to a presidential investiture, as well as planning your attendance.

How will SUNY Old Westbury celebrate the inauguration of its sixth president, Dr. Timothy E. Sams?

The College will host several events on Friday, April 14, 2023, to mark the inauguration of Dr. Sams. These will include his investiture ceremony.  Other events on April 14 will include a panel discussion luncheon and a reception.

Are SUNY Old Westbury’s inaugural events open to the public?

Students, alumni, employees, supporters and friends are invited to attend the investiture ceremony. Space is limited for all events, so providing an RSVP is required.

When and where is the inaugural investiture ceremony?

The investiture ceremony is scheduled for Friday, April 14, 2 p.m. in the John & Lillian Maguire Theater, located in the Campus Center building. The ceremony, or “investiture,” will include remarks by Dr. Sams, his special guests, visiting dignitaries, as well as musical performances that underscore his vision. It will also include ceremonial elements like a procession of delegates from other institutions, which typically includes an institution’s president or other high-ranking administrator.

Who may attend the inauguration ceremony?

All students, alumni, employees, supporters and friends are welcome to attend as space provides. Special guests, university and organizational delegates, and program participants will be notified in advance regarding reserved seating, and if appropriate, required attire such as academic regalia.

Why are presidential inaugurations important in higher education?

College and universities hold inaugurations to accomplish several goals. The occasion formally invests leadership of the institution in its new president, and inaugural events allow the university’s stakeholders to become better acquainted with the president and her vision. It also gives the institution an opportunity to reaffirm historic commitments, to rally the academic community around the president, and to heighten institutional visibility.

The term “inauguration,” when used in a university setting, refers to a series of events planned in celebration of the installation of a new president. The “installation” is the actual moment the new president assumes the insignia of office, which for SUNY Old Westbury is the medallion worn by the president when he or she appears in academic regalia. The ceremony itself is referred to as an “investiture.”

Why is President Sam’s inauguration happening now?

It is common for a college or university to delay the inauguration of its president until six to 12 months after his or her appointment. Due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the campus and across the nation, President Sams elected to wait before holding his formal introduction until the campus had returned to its more traditional atmosphere.

The scheduling of the inaugural events required committee members and administrators to consider standing events on the institution’s calendar, traditionally observed holidays, and the availability of invited ceremony participants, and speakers.

How should media outlets request media credentials?

Official media representatives wishing to report on elements of SUNY Old Westbury’s inaugural events should contact Michael Kinane, vice president for communications and college relations, at or 516-876-3162.

What if I have additional questions?

The inauguration website at will provide additional information and specific details. If the website does not answer your questions, please email