On Oct. 23, Mount Saint Mary’s inaugurated their 26th University President, Timothy E. Trainor. The festivities of Monday included the Inauguration Mass followed by the Inauguration Ceremony.
The Inauguration Mass was held in the Immaculate Conception Chapel. The church was filled to the brim, with seminarians and students sitting in folding chairs along the sides and back of the church. The University Chapel Choir, the Seminary Schola and the Quadrivium brass provided the music for the celebration.
Giselle Tolentino C’20, was one of the Chapel Choir members. When asked about the Inauguration Mass, she said, “Attending and singing at the Inauguration Mass was a tremendous honor and joy. It was an event that will live on in Mount history and in the hearts of those who attended for many years to come.”
The procession included Most Reverend William E. Lori S’77, Archbishop of Baltimore, who was the celebrant. Rev. Msgr. Baker, Vice President and Rector of the Seminary and Rev. Brian Nolan S’01, Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry, were among the nine other concelebrants.
The Reverend Matthew P. Pawlikowski, COL MIL USA USMA, Chaplain of the United States Military Academy at West Point, was the homilist. Pawlikowski’s message in his homily was, “be a warrior for Christ.”
Dr. Mary Catherine Kennedy, Communication professor, also attended the Mass. She resonated with Pawlikowski’s Homily saying, “As members of the Mount community, Pawlikowski reminded us that we have every responsibility to be the leaders in the world who will stand up for goodness and truth and that we cannot shy away from our call to be saints. I thought this was a great reminder to all of us that while President Trainor is at the helm of our collective ship here at the Mount, it’s on all of us to work together to make sure the Mount moves forward together.”
After the parts of the mass, Trainor was asked to stand before everyone and exclaim his profession of faith and oath of fidelity. There was then a solemn blessing and the mass ended with the Mount’s University Hymn, Immaculate Mary.
The Inauguration ceremony followed in the afternoon in the ARCC. The faculty and staff processed in and the ROTC gave the presentation of the colors. Other college presidents, government officials, and notable members of the Mount community were present to offer greetings, kind words and well wishes to the “new” Trainor in his new official role.
Trainor was presented with three artifacts significant to the Office of the President. Lori blessed each object as it was presented. The first was a crucifix that Pope Pius VI gave to Fr. John DuBois, the first University President. The second was the mace, a traditional academic symbol created for the Mount’s centennial in 1908. The third was the Presidential Medallion, that was designed for the Mount’s 175th Anniversary celebration.
In both the Inauguration mass and ceremony, odes to West Point were given because Trainor served 33 years in the U.S. Army. Before coming to the Mount, he was Dean and Chief Academic Officer at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. Furthermore, he and his family have a strong connection to the army. His wife, retired Army Colonel Donna Brazil, Ph.D., led the psychology program at West Point until 2013. Together, they have three children who all joined the military.
After the Investiture ceremony, Trainor gave his inaugural address. In his speech, he first thanked his family for all of their support on this special day. He then went to speak to his time thus far at the Mount and his hopes for the future. He pointed out, “I do think we teach history here that was made by those who we taught, however, I believe the most significant history regarding the Mount has yet to be written.”
Trainor also spoke of the strategic plan that is in the works for the University. According to Trainor, the top three priorities of that plan are: student success, having a faith and values-based campus environment and financial sustainability and stewardship. He also reiterated his pledge for a campus where everyone will be treated with dignity and respect, including an environment free of sexual assault and harassment. “There is no place for the violence and hatred spewed by neo-Nazi, white supremacy and similarly minded groups,” Trainor said.
After the inaugural address, the University Chorale sang the Alma Mater of West Point in honor of Trainor. Along with him, others stood at attention and yelled, “Beat Navy” when it ended. The Alma Mater of Mount St. Mary’s followed, along with the Benediction from Baker.
The events of Trainor’s inauguration not only celebrated his formal installation, but all of the hard work and accomplishments of his time as interim president, serving the Mount since August 2016. During his first year, he oversaw the creation of a new strategic plan, growth in enrollment and retention and laid the foundation for a new capital campaign called “Forward! Together as One.” The campaign aims to support students, enhance academic programs and further the university’s Catholic mission.
Timothy Ruflin C’20, concluded about the day saying, “The Inauguration was an incredible opportunity to come together as a community to pray for the Lord’s blessing and guidance upon President Trainor that he may lead the Mount to new heights in accordance with God’s most holy will.”