A new era at Terra State Community College has begun with an inaugural ceremony for new president Jerome E. Webster.
Nearly 400 people witnessed the first-ever inauguration at the college. The event included an academic procession of trustees, faculty, staff, administration, alumni, students, emeriti and a past president as well as representatives from regional colleges and universities, partnering institutions and affiliated professional organizations.
Eleven individuals, representing faculty, staff, administration, students, alumni, Webster's family, and other constituencies, presented short greetings. Following the investiture of the president by board chairman Carl Koebel, Webster presented his inaugural address.
Webster explained how each of the four academic divisions at the college will make changes to improve students' futures and to ensure that workforce needs will be met.
He spoke of emphasizing skilled trades, creating centers of excellence for arts and business, developing stackable certificates, improving college readiness and strengthening partnerships.
The new president also announced a new veterans' center, a multi-purpose conference facility, a new entrance on Ohio 53 and a return to intercollegiate athletics.
"An institution can only accomplish what it is willing to dream," Webster said.
Terra State's new Alma Mater, written by Terra music and creative writing students, and a benediction concluded the ceremony.
Webster is the sixth president of Terra State. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from Olivet College in Michigan, and master and doctoral degrees from the University of Toledo.
He was previously the Dean of Students at Terra before serving as the Dean of Students at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Mich. and later as Dean of Student Affairs at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland. He came back to Terra as the Vice President for Student and Administrative Affairs before being promoted to president earlier this year.