FROSTBURG — It’s official. Ronald H. Nowaczyk is the 15th president of Frostburg State University.

Though Nowaczyk took office on May 9, 2016, a traditional Inauguration Ceremony was held Friday afternoon at the university’s Pealer Recital Hall. The University System of Maryland Board of Regents Chairman James Brady and Chancellor Robert Caret performed the official investiture, a formal public step to acknowledge the leadership role assigned to the president.

As part of the investiture, Nowaczyk was presented with the Ceremonial Mace, a symbol evolved from an instrument of battle in the Middle Ages into a sign of authority now used by university marshals. Nowaczyk was also given a gold medallion necklace by university officials featuring a replica of the FSU seal. It is to be worn by the president at select university events. 

“Presentation of these artifacts confirms the trust that the regents place in the president and his vision for the university,” Brady said. 

Nowaczyk accepted his ceremonial duties and asked those in attendance to work with him to secure the future of FSU and the community.

“I accept the responsibilities of those 14 leaders who preceded me,” Nowaczyk said. “I ask for you to work with me, give me your counsel and advice. Give your expertise and effort to effect success for our students and our community.

“Together we can work to achieve what we cannot do individually.”

Members of the community, FSU students and faculty, as well as local officials attended the public event. Frostburg Mayor Robert Flanigan reiterated his faith in Nowaczyk’s experience and expertise. 

“It’s a wonderful day for Frostburg and Frostburg State University,” Flanigan said.  

“President Ron Nowaczyk brings with him much experience about the Northeast, understands a small town and what the needs of small town are, understands very well how important it is to work with the local politicians and the friends of the college.”

Before coming to FSU last year, Nowaczyk was the vice president of Clarion University in rural western Pennsylvania.

Nowaczyk said he is dedicated to helping universities in rural areas earn success, including expanding community partnerships to help students gain employment.

“I hope we will work more with community and business organizations to provide more opportunities for our students through internships and practical experiences.”

Friday’s event date was chosen to commemorate the university’s 119th anniversary. On April 9, 1898, Gov. Lloyd Lowndes signed the bill creating State Normal School No. 2 at Frostburg, which became Frostburg State University.

Follow staff writer Heather Wolford on Twitter @heatherbwolford.

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