University of Mississippi plans Jones investiture

By Errol Castens/NEMS Daily Journal

OXFORD – Daniel W. Jones will be inaugurated as the University of Mississippi’s 16th chief executive officer in a formal ceremony at the Gertrude C. Ford Performing Arts Center on April 9.
Jones previously had headed the university’s Medical Center campus in Jackson and succeeded Robert Khayat as chancellor on July 1.
Several inauguration-related events already have been scheduled. On the day before the investiture, the university will hold its Honors Convocation and Phi Kappa Phi honorary society initiation.
The next day, invited guests will join the chancellor at a prayer service before the 10 a.m. investiture ceremony and at a luncheon afterward. That afternoon, the university will hold a ceremony to initiate new members of Phi Beta Kappa, the university’s most prestigious academic society.
Given the nation’s economic downturn and the university’s accompanying financial constraints, Jones’ inauguration decidedly will be toned down from the week-long festivities that often surround such ceremonies.
“Chancellor Jones wants the inauguration to be very inclusive, relatively simple and emphasizing the role of service we have to the state,” Associate Provost Ann Canty said.
Patricia Huggins, interim director of special events and protocol, added, “When we did the last one, it was a whole week, but we don’t have the budget for it that we had then. We have a service theme this time – ‘Transformation through Service.’”
University officials, staff, faculty and students will use the occasion to showcase some of the ways the university serves Mississippi and the larger world, as well as how its people serve the more immediate community.
Associate Provost Noel Wilkin said some new service opportunities also will be created especially to commemorate Jones’ inauguration.

Contact reporter Errol Castens at (662) 281-1069 or errol.castens@djournal.com.