Richard Saller was officially inaugurated as Stanford president Monday afternoon, during a private ceremony that was not officially announced to students.
The Daily has reached out to the University for comment on whether Saller was inaugurated as an interim president or a president. According to the Stanford Report, trustees “attended a a private ceremony to formally install Saller as president.”
Saller will serve as president while the presidential search committee seeks community feedback and potential candidates in its search for the University’s next president.
Saller was appointed interim president following former President Marc Tessier-Lavigne’s resignation, which went into effect on Aug. 31. He was formerly dean of the School of Humanities and Sciences and a professor of European studies.
Saller was robed by Board of Trustees Chair Jerry Yang and a senior classics major, a faculty member told The Daily. The faculty member shared this information on background and The Daily confirmed details of the event with student attendees.
He wrote that Saller gave a speech on excellence, innovation and integrity that drew on lessons from Roman history.
Saller also gave updates to Provost Jenny Martinez, and gave her a special copy of the Stanford Charter. Orchestral groups Bay Area Brass and St. Lawrence Quartet performed.
“Bringing music to events adds an important element to something that would otherwise be primarily speaking, and we always feel honored to be asked to do these sorts of things,” said artist in residence Christopher Costanza, who is the St. Lawrence Quartet cellist. “We felt like it was an opportunity to be included in something that is important and symbolic to the university.”
A few undergraduate students were present at the inauguration: an acapella group and a student chorus also performed, and another student read the Stanford Land Acknowledgement at the beginning of the ceremony. Some students were told to exercise discretion about performing at the event.
The Daily has reached out to the University for comment on why students were not officially invited to the inauguration.
“It was a very festive occasion, but on a small scale — it did not feel like a big open kind of event as the previous inauguration did with Marc Tessier-Lavigne,” Constanza said. “My sense was that they kept it very small and quiet because of the interim nature of his appointment.”
Former provosts Condoleeza Rice, John Etchemendy and John Hennessy, who was also a University president, were present. Two other former presidents, Gerhard Casper and Marc Tessier-Lavigne, also attended.
This article was updated with comment from an attendee and to reflect that a previously unidentified source was a faculty member who attended the event.