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CWU officially installs new president

UPDATED: Fri., May 20, 2022

Columbia Basin Herald

ELLENSBURG — Jim Wohlpart was officially installed as Central Washington University’s 15th president on Thursday during a ceremony on the Ellensburg campus, according to a release by the university.

Wohlpart assumed office in June 2021, but installation ceremonies were postponed.

The release states the installation is the official ceremony in which the president is formally endowed with the powers and responsibilities of office. The ceremony provides the opportunity for the new leader to share his vision for the university.

After opening remarks from Faculty Senate Chair Greg Lyman, Provost Michelle DenBeste, and Board of Trustees Chair Robert Nellams, Wohlpart delivered an address that explained why he chose to pursue a career in higher education, and how his passion for teaching and learning eventually led him to CWU.

“Higher education is about nurturing the growth of human beings—of offering opportunities that allow our graduates to become more fully themselves, realize their deepest, most profound potential, and flourish as whole and integrated human beings in healthy and whole communities,” Wohlpart said, according to the release. “I strongly believe that the crossroads our nation faces runs squarely through higher education.”

The release goes on to state the president spoke at length about his desire to establish a new vision, mission, and strategic plan for Central.

Wohlpart believes, according to the release, CWU has a responsibility to prepare young people to become leaders, not simply provide them with the skills needed to enter specific careers. The overarching goal for CWU, he said in the release, should be to develop thoughtful, engaged, well-rounded citizens who possess a breadth of skills that have the potential to make a lasting difference in the world.

“We must remember that professional preparation and civic agency are not the heart of what we do,” the president said in the release. “At our core, we are about transforming students’ lives, their families’ lives and their communities.”

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