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Joseph Vidulich, Student Body President
February 8, 2008
Good morning. Today, we have a unique opportunity to witness history; American University welcomes one of our own to take the helm of our great national university. Today, right now, please join me in honoring Dr. Cornelius Kerwin, alumnus of American University's School of Public Affairs, Class of 1971 and 14th president of American University.
When I see Dr. Kerwin walking across the quad, greeting and engaging students as he goes, and when I see him jumping out of his seat at basketball games, fervently rooting for our Eagles, I know that there is no better friend of the student body than Dr. Kerwin.
There is something so real about someone who got his collegiate start here in the same buildings we attend classes in, and when I see someone who came back to American University to serve as professor and as provost, I know that there is no better asset to our school's academic well-being than Dr. Kerwin.
Dr. Kerwin is someone deeply devoted to this university because he has a personal investment in our institution, not just a professional one. His dedication spawns from a love for this institution, something genuine and unwavering. There is no question that Doctor Kerwin is the best-suited individual to guide our institution of higher learning into the future.
American University opened its doors as an institution of higher learning on May 27, 1914. President Woodrow Wilson addressed the campus that day and remarked, “In opening a university, we wish to add one more means of empancipating the human mind from fear, misunderstanding, and darkness, and leading it into the light.”
Today, Dr. Kerwin is charged with that very task; to build upon the roots of American University's great history and inspire the next generation of students to promote the common good, peace and prosperity.
Dr. Kerwin has the support and admiration of the entire campus community. That I can say that without reservation or hesitation demonstrates the hope we have for continued greatness as an academic institution.
Dr. Kerwin, on behalf of the students of American University, please let me welcome you home.
As I am joined by my colleagues who represent the various student communities of American University, we are honored to present Dr. Corneilus Kerwin with a special gift on behalf of the entire student body.
See, many do not know that Dr. Kerwin wanted to be on the men's basketball team here at AU, and though he best serves the Eagles now by cheering at games with his wife and eldest son, both AU alums, we thought it would be appropriate to make him an honorary member of our team: an MVP… Most Valuable President. (Applause)