Centenary College will inaugurate 31st president on March 17

 

March 1, 2017

SHREVEPORT, LA — Dr. Christopher L. Holoman will be formally inaugurated as Centenary College’s 31st president on Friday, March 17. The 2:00 p.m. inauguration ceremony at the College’s Gold Dome will be the culmination of a weeklong celebration of Centenary’s past, present, and future as a center of academic and cultural excellence in northwest Louisiana. Holoman began his tenure as Centenary’s president in July 2016.

“Dr. Holoman has already devoted much of his time and effort during his first eight months as President to reach out to alumni, students, faculty, staff, trustees, and the community and to build a strategic plan for the College,” says David Barlow, chairman of the Centenary Board of Trustees. “He brings an impressive background as both a scholar and an administrator to Centenary, along with a remarkable understanding of higher education. Dr. Holoman’s inauguration reminds us of Centenary’s glorious history as the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and assures us that the College’s future, under his leadership, is both secure and bright.”

Dr. Jefferson Hendricks is George A. Wilson Eminent Scholars Endowed Chair of American Literature at Centenary and was a member of the search committee that brought Holoman to the College.

“I could not be happier that Chris Holoman has joined Centenary as its 31st president,” says Hendricks, who is also an alumnus of the College. “As a native North Carolinian, he values Southern culture. As a deeply-committed Methodist, he values the Wesleyan tradition of serving others. As an academic leader with a background at Chapel Hill and the University of Chicago, he values intellectual excellence. But, as a man, he every day embodies John Wesley's advice: 'Beware you be not swallowed up in books!   An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge'. Chris's values and Centenary's values are a perfect marriage.”

The inaugural festivities begin at 11:00 a.m. on March 17 with a United Methodist worship service in Centenary’s Brown Memorial Chapel. Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey of the Louisiana Annual Conference will lead the service, while Reverend Dr. Wybra Price ‘89, United Methodist Church District Superintendent for Shreveport, will offer the blessing of Dr. Holoman. Bishop emeritus William Hutchinson will give the benediction. The worship service is open to the public.

The 2:00 p.m. inauguration ceremony in the Gold Dome will feature well-wishes and messages from Mayor Ollie Tyler of Shreveport, Mayor Lo Walker of Bossier City, and other leaders from higher education and faith communities. The inauguration ceremony is also open to the public.

The Centenary College Choir and Centenary’s Camerata choral ensemble will provide music for both the worship service and the inauguration ceremony, accompanied by musicians from Centenary’s Hurley School of Music as well as local professionals. Inauguration information will be updated on the Centenary website at centenary.edu/inauguration.

Holoman will conclude his inauguration day with a time-honored presidential tradition: throwing out the first pitch at a baseball game. Holoman will make the toss from the mound as the nationally-ranked Gents take on conference foe Schreiner at 6:30 p.m. at Shehee Stadium. For more on the Gents, visit gocentenary.com/baseball.

Beginning on Monday, March 13, Centenary will open its beautiful 64-acre campus in Shreveport’s Highland neighborhood for a number of public events leading up to the afternoon inauguration ceremony on Friday. Community members, especially alumni and friends of the College, can get a taste of Centenary’s academics, student life, and cultural offerings by attending selected academic classes, athletic practices, and rehearsals throughout the week. A full schedule of open house events is available at centenary.edu/inauguration.

Community members and inauguration guests are also invited to view a special exhibit mounted by the Centenary Archives and Special Collections, Impressive Ceremonies: Centenary’s Presidential Inaugurations, 1835-2010. The exhibit is on display through May 2017 in the lobby of the Whited Room in Centenary’s Bynum Commons, and is also accessible online.

For additional information about inauguration events, contact Director of Alumni & Family Relations Saige Solomon at ssolomon@centenary.edu or 318.869.5115.