The University at Albany officially welcomed its 19th president on Saturday. YNN's Erin Moran has more on the inauguration ceremony, and the new president's plan for the future.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- The auditorium was packed Saturday morning, as hundreds watched Doctor Robert J. Jones be formally installed as the 19th President of the University at Albany.
“Our region is truly fortunate that Dr. Jones accepted our invitation, and as an alum of this University, I can't express how excited I am about our future,” said Michael J. Castellana, a member of the University at Albany Foundation.
Jones was appointed President of the University in September 2012, and took office in January 2013.
“From what we have seen so far I think we are headed for an engaging and very successful era with Dr. Jones,” said Nicolau Depaula, Vice President of the Graduate Student Assocation at UAlbany.
With more than three decades of higher education leadership experience, Jones came to UAlbany ready to engage the academic community and the rest of the Capital Region.
In his inaugural address, Jones outlined his vision for the university's future with four key points: to expand programs in engineering and the sciences for jobs of the future, recruit a more diverse campus both out-of-state and abroad, engage the Capital Region community, and to strengthen the university's financial resources.
The Board of Directors of The University at Albany Foundation created the Robert J. Jones and Lynn Hassan Jones Inaugural Scholarship Fund, with a goal of $1 million. The scholarship is in honor of Dr. Jones and his wife becoming the first couple of the University. In keeping with his vision to strengthen financial resources and make UAlbany affordable for generations to come, he and his wife announced earlier this week that they would donate $100,000 to the fund.
“My goal is for UAlbany to become the University of choice for high school juniors and seniors. And I'm not just talking about the SUNY system schools, but any university, public or private, across this country and around the world,” said Jones.
He said he believes UAlbany is the best kept secret in higher education. He pledged on Saturday to tell the UAlbany story far and wide.
“As the saying goes, if you're not moving forward then you're truly falling behind," said Dr. Jones.