On Sept. 19, 2014, the University of West Georgia officially opened its arms to the seventh president, Dr. Kyle Marrero. The ceremony was held in the UWG Coliseum at 10 a.m. The arena was filled with delegates, elected officials and members from universities in Georgia and surrounding states. UWG faculty and staff members, state representatives, along with other proud and loving supporters attended this event.
Dr. Marrero has been with the university for well over a year. Prior to his presidency, he served as vice president of University Advancement at the University of West Florida. He acquired his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in vocal performance from Bowling Green State University. In addition, he also received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan.
The service began with Dr. Jane Marrero—Dr. Marrero’s wife—serenading the audience with an opera version of the national anthem. The program continued with a prayer from Pastor Andrew Hendley from King’s Chapel, followed by a series of speakers. Each speaker displayed praise and gratitude for the Marrero Administration.
“We have the right man in the right position to take our institution into the future,” said State Senator Mike Dugan. “He can build off a great legacy that the former presidents have left him and they’ve all done a great job, but I’m excited for the future of this institution.”
President Emeritus Dr. Beheruz Sethna also gave what he likes to call the first ever presidential blessing. Dr. Sethna served as UWG’s president for 19 years.
“So what can I wish for you from the tenure of your immediate predecessor? I wish for you the same good fortune that he had of walking among the best faculty, staff and student body possible,” said Dr. Sethna. “And the best community support and the same wonderful family support that he had, my thanks to them and my wish of the same great fortune on you. May the force be with you Mr. President and also with the University of West Georgia.”
After several more speeches and well wishes from the community and fellow supporters, Dr. Marrero officially took charge from the University System of Georgia’s chancellor, Henry “Hank” Huckaby. During this presentation, the President was also given the Medallion of Office.
Dr. Marrero then took the podium. After a few jokes to lighten the mood, he began his speech. .
“I sincerely believe in order for a president to be successful one must honor the past, understand the traditions, honor those who made the institution what it is today and forge a future vision that will propel growth, relevance and transformation impact on its students, faculty, staff and community,” he said.
Dr. Marrero then gave a chronological account of the success of UWG since its first day of operation in 1908. He also highlighted his plans to continue his work of enhancing UWG, not only for students, but also for everyone.
After an unforgettable morning of support, laughter and togetherness, the ceremony ended with a dynamic moment.
“My goal, indeed our goal, is to honor the past and forge the new west,” said Dr. Marrero. “The new west will be achieved with our collaborative efforts and passion of all my colleagues, our community and our alumni.”