Celebrating the Inauguration of President Lori Bettison-Varga

Scripps College Inauguration Weekend

Take pride, joy, trust, and hope — and add a touch of raucous good cheer. That’s what the Scripps College community experienced at the inauguration of President Lori Bettison-Varga the weekend of March 26–27, 2010.

It was one great time.

More than 1,000 people celebrated, including representatives from 60 other institutions of higher learning. They came from nearby Claremont, throughout the United States, and overseas.

On Friday, Scripps College students impressed friends and visitors alike with their scholarship and artistic talents at the Academic Showcase.

On Saturday morning, four accomplished alumnae shared career stories and advice as they pondered the genius of women at the Presidential Forum, moderated by NPR correspondent Linda Wertheimer.

Saturday afternoon, the investiture contained all the pomp and circumstance of a wedding or bat mitzvah: trustees proudly marched down the aisle of Bridges Auditorium, faculty resplendent in their vivid academic robes showed up en masse, presidents of the other Claremont Colleges paid tribute, delegates from other colleges, and alumnae, students, and staff of Scripps College lent enthusiastic support. Chief among the cheering alumnae was Barbara Yunker Bettison ’54, mother of the president, who, as marshal, proudly led the alumnae contingent to their front-row seats.

After welcoming remarks from several speakers, President Lori Bettison-Varga took center stage. Wearing a new robe bearing the “genius of women” emblem, she accepted the presidential medallion and addressed the crowd. She said that genius in women is not necessarily innate — that it can indeed be cultivated, especially at a place like Scripps College.

That evening, hundreds gathered under glittering lights on Jaqua Quadrangle for a dinner dance in festive Scripps style. Friends, family members, and colleagues gave toasts. A band blasted music that could have been heard in Upland. And the new president danced the night away surrounded by exuberant students and other hearty revelers.

The inauguration of Scripps College’s eighth president, Lori Bettison-Varga, rocked the house.


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