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Gary R. Weaver, Chair of the Faculty Senate and SIS Professor
February 8, 2008
President Kerwin, you have long been a distinguished teacher, scholar, and academic leader at American University. For over 30 years, you have taught thousands of students, published two books, written dozens of chapters and articles in scholarly works, and represented our university as a member and officer of various academic and professional associations. You have taught not only on our campus here in Washington but also overseas. You were the first faculty member to teach a full semester study abroad program as head of the World Capitals program in London.
You have served as a dean, provost, and interim president. But, most of all, you are a faculty member. You are one of us, a friend we all know and a true teacher-scholar. Today, you make us faculty very proud as you are inaugurated as the 14th president of American University.
We congratulate and honor you today and we wish you only the very best as you take on the difficult task of leading this outstanding university. And, as chair of the faculty senate, along with Jonathan Loesberg, a former chair and also a trustee, we would now like to present you with a gift on behalf of the faculty, to remind you of this solemn occasion.
We know of your taste in art and searched for something appropriate that you would truly treasure. Unfortunately, we couldn't find a painting of Elvis on black velvet or dogs playing cards. We therefore asked your beloved wife, Ann, to help us select a work of art that she knew you would enjoy. Of course, Ann has impeccable taste in fine art and earned a degree in art at American University.
We think this is a superb painting by one of our most outstanding faculty artists, and a friend of both you and Ann. Sadly, Ron Haynie passed away last month but his wife, Glenna, was delighted to donate this painting on behalf of our faculty. Like you, Ron earned degrees from American University and served as one of our foremost teachers and administrators. He also was truly one of us.
Neil, we hope that you and your family will enjoy this artwork and that it will remind you of the love and respect we have for you as a faculty member and also now as president of American University.