R. Owen Williams, promising to change the face of Transylvania University over the next decade, was formally inaugurated as president of the liberal arts college on Friday.
Williams told a crowd of hundreds assembled on the lawn in front of Transylvania's Old Morrison administration building that in 2021 the college will have far more international students in a 1,500-student population (up from its current 1,100), publish a prestigious liberal arts journal, be a breeding ground for Rhodes Scholars and have a flourishing fund-raising operation.
He said he would "make this one of America's very best liberal arts colleges."
Williams, a first-time university president, takes over for Charles Shearer, who had been Transylvania's president for 27 years.
Williams' speech was delivered before two crimson banners hung between Old Morrison's signature columns. They said: "Question Everything" and "Accomplish Anything," which was also the theme of Williams' inaugural address.
Williams is a former Wall Street banker turned historian who became president of Transylvania last summer.
Williams' sister, Valerie Winn, an employee and teacher at the Maryland School for the Deaf, signed during Williams' speech.