Students, faculty, family and friends dressed in business attire filled Lee Hall to welcome the new leader and to celebrate former leaders of the Student Government Association (SGA) on Wednesday, April 3.
The University of Mary Washington’s leadership organizations, including SGA, Honor Council, Judicial Review, Finance Committee and Class Council, swore in their officers for the 2013-2014 academic year.
A diverse group of supporters gathered to celebrate the transition, including a sign language interpreter for deaf attendees.
Former SGA President Jeremy Thompson, senior political science major, welcomed everyone to the event.
“It has been a deep honor to serve each and every one of you as SGA president,” said Thompson.
Vice President for Student Affairs Doug Searcy was the keynote speaker at the event.
“Leaders should lead with their hearts, as well as challenge and inspire their followers,” said Searcy.
Then followed the induction of officers, which was a casual exchange of responsibility rather than a formal swearing in of government officials.
The SGA Transition Ceremony followed a month-long transition among the SGA, which helped acclimate the new leaders to their positions, according to Thompson.
Thompson believes the Transition Ceremony was a “good opportunity for students to learn who their new leaders are and for these new leaders to reaffirm their commitment to representing students.”
The presidential oath of office was taken separate from the rest of the cabinet in order to “emphasize the importance of the SGA president in student affairs,” according to Thompson.
However, there is still work that the old cabinet has to do, Thompson said, such as the upcoming BOV meeting which he will attend on Thursday, April 18 and Friday, April 19.
Thompson said, as his next step, he will introduce the new SGA president, junior history major Stephanie Preston, to the BOV, since she will be the representative starting in May.
Thompson spoke highly of Preston’s previous experience and her ability to represent UMW students well with her new style of leadership in comparison to his own.
In closing, Preston stated the coming year would involve a lot of hard work and long nights in order to achieve success.
“[I’m] honored that my peers have confidence in me as a leader,” said Preston.
Preston stated her main goal for the 2013-2014 academic year is to keep the student body informed of what’s going on with the school.