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University Announces the Inauguration of its Fourth President
FAYETTEVILLE, NC—Ben E. Hancock Jr., Ph.D., will be sworn in as the fourth president of Methodist University Friday, March 23, 2012. The Inauguration and Investiture ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. in Reeves Auditorium, and will include a formal procession of trustees, distinguished guests, and faculty and staff, with a reception following the ceremony.
Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium and Inauguration Showcase
Pre-ceremony events include an Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium and Inauguration Showcase in the upper level of Berns Student Center from 10 a.m. to noon, with additional undergraduate research presentations at designated areas around the Methodist University campus. Undergraduate research and creativity is the subject of one of the four task forces that President Hancock announced in the fall as part of the new "Methodist University Journey" initiative. The Inauguration Showcase, which is open to the public, will feature additional campus initiatives and programs, and focus on the Center for Student Success and the work of the Community Engagement, Globalization, and Leadership Task Forces. The "Methodist University Journey" focuses on increasing opportunities for students to be engaged inside and outside of the classroom, fulfilling the institution's motto to engage, enrich, and empower its students and community.
About President Hancock
Dr. Hancock has been president of Methodist University since March 2011. He succeeded Dr. M. Elton Hendricks, who retired after serving as president of the University for 27 years. The Presidential Inauguration will formally install the new president, and is an opportunity to celebrate Methodist University in a way that has not happened in over a quarter of a century. Since taking office, Dr. Hancock has joined the University as it is working through a five-year Strategic Plan, and a period of unprecedented growth that includes a record enrollment of more than 2,400 students and a record student residential population of more than 1,200 students.
President Hancock came to Methodist University from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., where he served for five years as vice president for university advancement at the 18,000-student public university. Before serving at Ball State, Dr. Hancock served as vice president for institutional advancement for 17 years at Albion College in Michigan. Like Methodist University, Albion College is a small, private college with ties to the Methodist Church.
Dr. Hancock graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Arts in Russian Studies in 1974, and a Master of Education in counseling and higher education administration in 1975. In 2004, he completed a Ph.D. in comparative and international education at the University of Virginia.
He and his wife, Debbie, a special education teacher, have five adult children: Jessie, Sarah, Ben III, Matthew, and Andrew, and three grandchildren.
During the ceremony, Executive Vice President and Academic Dean Delmas S. Crisp Jr., Ph.D., will serve as master of ceremonies. The dress for the Inauguration is casual. In addition to the Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium, a student invitational art exhibit, "Crossing Over," will be open for public viewing Friday, March 23 from 9 a.m. - noon in the David McCune International Art Gallery located within the William F. Bethune Center for Visual Arts. The exhibit will remain open March 24 - May 5 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. The Student Activities Committee (SAC) is planning a celebration of the Inauguration titled "Benanza," which will take place Thursday, March 22, from 8 p.m. - midnight.
A full schedule of events, history of Methodist University and its past presidents, virtual guest book, and more can be found on the Inauguration website. The content of the site will be updated continuously leading up to the event and afterward.
About Methodist University
Methodist University is an independent four-year institution of higher education with over 2,400 students from 41 states and 53 countries. Methodist University offers over 80 majors and concentrations, 100 clubs and organizations, three master's degree programs, and 19 NCAA III intercollegiate sports. For more information, please contact Robin Davenport at 910.630.7200 or send an e-mail to