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Ohio Wesleyan Celebrates Inauguration of 15th President, Mark Huddleston


April 4, 2005

[ Mark Huddleston ] DELAWARE, OHIO -- Ohio Wesleyan University celebrated the inauguration of its 15th President, Mark W. Huddleston, Ph.D., on April 2 with an investiture ceremony as well as other events throughout the day.

OWU faculty, emeriti faculty, staff, students, alumni, trustee members and over 160 delegates from other institutions, learned societies and educational associations gathered in University Hall's Gray Chapel for the installation. Phillip J. Meek, chairperson of the board of trustees and OWU Class of 1959 performed the investiture.

In Huddleston's inaugural address he noted the competitiveness of higher education. "These are tough times-fierce competition, spiraling costs, fewer students," he said. "The fact that we have a glorious past and are presently delivering a great education to our students is important. But past performance, as the mutual fund ads say in fine print, is no guarantee of future success. Some schools, including schools with clear visions and great delivery, will not make it. The survivors will be those who can tell a distinctive story in a compelling way. The good news is that we at Ohio Wesleyan have a distinctive story to tell."

[ Mark Huddleston ]The inauguration featured several student and faculty performances. Other speakers included representatives from the OWU Board of Trustees, faculty, emeriti faculty, student body, and alumni.

A buffet lunch in Branch Rickey Arena immediately followed the installation. Approximately 500 guests attended. The lunch symbolized the four distinctive areas of travel Huddleston has made in his career. Each corner of the arena represented food from Southeast Asia, the Mediterranean, Spain and the Yucatan Peninsula. The center of the arena featured desserts representing the four corners of the United States.

[ Mark Huddleston ]Dedicated OWU and Delaware community members braved the harsh weather to participate in the Inaugural Fun Run with Huddleston and his family. Originally planned as a 5K, the run was shortened to one mile, concluding with a children's fun walk. Earlier in the day Huddleston met with delegates and trustee members for breakfast in the Hamilton-Williams Campus Center. As a conclusion to the day's festivities, the Ohio Wesleyan Departments of Theatre and Dance and Music presented Camelot in the Chappelear Drama Center.

President Huddleston was born and raised in Syracuse, N.Y. The first of his family to attend college, education has continued to play a special role in his life.

[ Mark Huddleston ]He is a 1972 graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, with both the Master of Arts and Ph. D. degrees in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee following in 1973 and 1978 respectively.

Inspired by his own educational experiences, Dr. Huddleston decided to pursue a career in higher education with an academic specialty in public administration, with particular interest in the U.S. higher civil service. He returned to his alma mater, SUNY-Buffalo, in 1977 and in 1980 joined the faculty of the University of Delaware, where he remained for the next 24 years. Ultimately, he was named Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, serving in that capacity until last summer.

During his time at the University of Delaware, Dr. Huddleston created and directed many study abroad programs for undergraduates, including programs in Mexico, London, Brussels and Geneva. He also chaired the department of Political Science and International Relations and served as associate provost for international programs. Under his leadership as dean, UD enjoyed dramatic improvements and became a highly-selective institution, national in its reach.

[ Mark Huddleston ]Dr. Huddleston has been an active consultant for both the U.S. government and international organizations, including work in the Balkans, southern Africa, and central and Southeast Asia. His most fulfilling and exciting work was serving in Bosnia as an advisor on rebuilding financial and administrative infrastructures after the Dayton Accords. He is the author of numerous publications, and his book and monograph titles include The Public Administration Workbook, Profiles in Excellence: Conversations with the Best of America's Career Executive Service, The Higher Civil Service in the United States, and The Government's Managers.

Dr. Huddleston and his wife of nearly 15 years, Emma Bricker, reside in Delaware with their 12-year-old daughter Kate, nine-year-old son Giles, three dogs and a turtle. Their older son, Andy, is a junior at Brown University and is studying philosophy this semester at Cambridge University in England.

As the 15th chief executive of Ohio Wesleyan, Huddleston succeeds Thomas B. Courtice, who retired from the University in 2004 and currently serves as a consultant with Academic Search Consultation Service.

Ohio Wesleyan is a national, selective liberal arts institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1842, the University enrolls about 1850 students from 43 states and 47 countries in undergraduate programs leading to the bachelor of arts, bachelor of fine arts and bachelor of music.