A History of Past CMU Inaugurations

As we prepare to inagurate Farnam Jahanian as the 10th president of CMU, University Archivist Julia Corrin looks back at previous inagurations on campus.

This Friday, Carnegie Mellon will inaugurate it’s 10th president, though we don’t actually have much experience with inauguration ceremonies.  Not only are we a relatively young institution, but most of our presidents served relatively long terms.  Hamerschlag stayed for 19 years, Doherty for 14, Warner for 15, and Cyert almost broke Hamerschlag’s record with 18 years.

The tenures of Hamerschlag, Baker, and Doherty were focused on shaping and stabilizing a new institution, not taking the time to celebrate it.  In fact, Doherty famously infuriated students by announcing an end to athletic scholarships to ensure the institution was fully focused on academic pursuits.

By the end of Doherty’s tenure, Tech was on more secure footing and was on an upward trajectory and there was a desire to celebrate.  Dr. Warner’s inauguration in 1950 was the first ever, and it embraced the pomp and circumstance we now expect.   Over 20,000 invitations were mailed, including invites to the entire alumni body.  The event was still an efficient one though.  In addition to Warner’s inauguration, it also celebrated the 50th anniversary of Tech’s founding, homecoming, reunion, and Carnegie Day (the annual celebration to honor Andrew Carnegie).

Read more about previous inaugurations at CMU on the Scotty Tales blog.

News category: Events