November 2, 2000, the University community gathered to celebrate
the installation of Chicago's 12th president in traditional academic
in richly colored robes and hoods, hundreds of men and women queued
along 59th Street, awaiting their marching orders. The University's
bagpipe band struck up a tune, the late-autumn sun appeared, and
the westward parade to Rockefeller Memorial Chapel and the University's
462nd Convocation moved forward.
morning of the celebration marking Don Michael Randel's installation
was almost business as usual. By noon, however, a quick-paced
lunch in Hutchinson Commons and North Lounge was fueling convocation
1 p.m., the first guests were entering Rockefeller Chapel, with
blue, maroon, or green-gold tickets in hand. Other members of
the campus community could watch the event on closed-circuit TV
in Ida Noyes Hall or via Webcast at their desks. Almost an hour
and a half later, to music by J. S. Bach, Gabrieli, Mozart, and
Handel, the procession moved down the aisle, and the contrapuntal
ceremony of words and music began.
of the Chapel Alison Boden gave the invocation; the Motet Choir
sang a Mozarabic chant and a 16th-century motet; Board of Trustees
chair Edgar Jannotta pronounced the president officially president;
and Don Michael Randel delivered his inaugural
Bach, this time a cantata whose final lines were emended to declare
in German: "May Randel live long! May Randel blossom!" Then, following
Chicago custom, the new president conferred honorary degrees upon
a group of scholars. David Aldous, a professor of statistics at
the University of California, Berkeley, received a Doctor of Science
degree for his contributions to mathematical probability and the
theory of computing. John Bahcall, the Richard Black professor
of natural sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study, was awarded
the Doctor of Science degree for his mathematical models of the
sun, instrumental in helping scientists detect neutrinos. Veena
Das, the Krieger-Eisenhower professor of anthropology at Johns
Hopkins University, received a Doctor of Humane Letters degree
for her studies of the cultural processes by which civilizations
become national societies.
Davis Jr., a research professor of physics and astronomy at the
University of Pennsylvania, was awarded a Doctor of Science degree
for developing an experiment that directly demonstrated the nature
of the sun's nuclear-burning process. Charles Fillmore, professor
emeritus in linguistics at the University of California-Berkeley,
was presented a Doctor of Humane Letters degree in recognition
of his contributions to fundamental linguistic theory, especially
in the areas of syntax, semantics, and pragmatics.
Ives's A Contemplation of a Serious Matter or The Unanswered
Perennial Question provided an interlude, and Randel presented
more degrees. Martin Gellert, chief of the molecular genetics
section at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology for the National
Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases, was awarded
a Doctor of Science degree for his contributions to the field
of DNA recombination. Marc Kirschner, chair and the Carl W. Walter
professor of cell biology at Harvard Medical School received a
Doctor of Science degree for his work on the cell cycle, the cytoskeleton,
and the role of protein degradation in regulating cellular function.
Qiu Xigui, a distinguished service professor in Chinese language
and literature at Peking University, was awarded a Doctor of Humane
Letters degree for scholarship that revolutionized modern theories
of the early development of Chinese writing. Claude Steele, a
professor of psychology at Stanford University, received a Doctor
of Science degree for his work on prejudice, stereotypes, and
the development of self-worth. Alan Walker, a distinguished professor
of anthropology and biology at Pennsylvania State University,
received a Doctor of Science degree recognizing his work in paleobiology
and the role of hominids in human evolution.
Sevak, '02, president of Student Government, and Katharine L.
Bensen, AB'80, president of the Alumni Board of Governors, offered
welcomes. The "Alma Mater" was sung, the benediction given, and
the ceremony ended. To the "swinging peal" of the Rockefeller
carillon, everyone headed east to a huge white tent on the Midway.
Over the course of the evening, thousands stopped by for hot apple
cider, snacks, student musical performances, and the chance to
congratulate Don Randel.