An Installation in a college or university setting is the official ceremony where the President and/or Chancellor are formally endowed with the powers and responsibilities of office. The ceremony provides the opportunity for the new President and/or Chancellor to share their vision for the university during their term of office.
An installation is often called Convocation, using the traditional meaning of the word: “a ceremonial assembly of members of a college or university.”
Presidents and Chancellors are usually installed separately, often as part of graduation ceremonies. The double installation of Dr. Steven Franklin as Trent’s seventh President and Vice-Chancellor and Tom Jackson as Trent’s tenth Chancellor in one ceremony on Thursday, September 24 is very unique!
University installation ceremonies vary with the institution and there are many traditions associated with the ceremony, such as: wearing academic regalia, procession of academic dignitaries, official greetings, bestowing the ceremonial robe of office, the presence of representatives from various constituencies (other universities, staff, students, alumni, etc.), passing of a symbolic artifact such as a chain of office, mace or charter, display of a university seal or coat of arms and ceremonial music. Trent’s Installation 2009 will honour many of those traditions.
Academic regalia derived from the costume worn by monks and students in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries when long robes and cowls were used for protection from the cold in drafty rooms and corridors. The various colours of the gowns and hoods today represent the degree held by the wearer and the institution awarding it.
Dressed in their regalia, the faculty, Board of Governors, Members of Senate, dignitaries of other Universities and other dignitaries form an academic procession. In the Installation of a President, it is tradition to invite the Presidents of other Universities who process in the order in which the University was founded.
The President and Chancellor are divested of the robes pertaining to their current status (academic, honorary graduate robes) and invested with the robes of the office of President and Chancellor.
The Condolence Cane
The condolence cane is a symbolic representation of the governance structure of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois people) and was a gift to the University from the Trent Aboriginal Education Council. It represents the academic governing power of the Senate, the interdependent nature of the University community and the search for knowledge in the interests of peace. The cane was carved by the late Chief Jake Thomas of the Cayuga Nation.
The Honour Song
In accordance with Aboriginal tradition, an honour song will be performed for the President and Chancellor upon the conclusion the Installation ceremony.