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Howard University to Hold Inauguration Festivities for President Ben Vinson III, Ph.D.

Investiture ceremony will cap a special week of activities including educational symposiums and engagement events with students and University employees

Ben Vinson III, Ph.D. will be formally installed as the 18th president of Howard University on Saturday, November 4

WASHINGTON –The Howard University Board of Trustees has announced the Inauguration of Ben Vinson III, Ph.D., who will be formally installed as the 18th president of Howard University during the Inauguration Convocation on Saturday, November 4 at 11 a.m. in Cramton Auditorium.   

Several honored guests are expected to attend, including business leaders, and presidents and representatives of several colleges and universities. They will join students, faculty, and staff to listen to President Vinson give his inaugural address and formally begin a new chapter in Howard University’s 156-year history.   

The event will air live on WHUT-TV on the inauguration ceremony website, and at the Inauguration Convocation Watch Party on campus; culminating a week of special activities to commemorate the occasion. The week kicked off with a Call to Chapel service featuring renowned academic and author Michael Eric Dyson, Ph.D. on Sunday and a partnership with District of Columbia’s wellness initiative, FITDC that allowed students to engage in yoga and boxing on the Upper Quadrangle Monday afternoon. A series of academic symposiums featuring Howard University faculty as moderators and panelists was held on Tuesday, with a second day scheduled for Wednesday. Additional information on President Vinson’s inauguration can be found here

Students will be able to express their enthusiasm for President Vinson’s inauguration with a special reception hosted by the Howard University Student Association on Wednesday. And on Thursday, a special concert featuring Howard University student artists will be held at Cramton Auditorium.  

The week is an exciting and special moment for the University, said board chair Laurence C. Morse, Ph.D. (B.A. ‘73). 

“Dr. Vinson’s strong record of leadership and success at some of the nation’s most highly regarded academic research institutions has clearly prepared him well for this moment,” said Chairman Morse. “His demonstrated commitment to elevating the diverse experiences of people of the African diaspora aligns well with Howard University’s mission and vision, and we believe that he will continue to strengthen our already storied legacy by ensuring that the University continues to be a thought leader in speaking to issues of domestic and global significance. I am tremendously excited to have him take on this role and look forward to him engaging with students, faculty, staff, and alumni. I have no doubt that he is equally enthusiastic about what a Vinson Administration will mean for our University.”  

President Vinson was appointed president in May and officially started in the role on September 1. He succeeds President Emeritus Wayne A. I. Frederick, (B.S. ’92, M.D. ’94, MBA ’11), who has served as Howard’s 17th president from 2014 to 2023. President Vinson was born in South Dakota to a father who served in the United States Air Force and a mother who was a teacher. He spent part of his childhood in Italy and his formative years in the Washington metropolitan area. He received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and Ph.D. from Columbia University before serving on the faculties of Barnard College and Pennsylvania State University. He was a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University and vice dean of centers, interdisciplinary studies, and graduate education. There, he helped establish the Johns Hopkins' Center for Africana Studies where he was the founding director. In 2013, he became dean of George Washington University's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. 

Vinson has served as chair of the board of the National Humanities Center since 2018 and is also vice president of the American Historical Association as well as president of the Conference on Latin American History.  

Members of the media wishing to cover Saturday’s event should submit a media credential application. Approved requests will be confirmed via email from the Office of University Communications.


Media Contact: Monica Lewis; monica.lewis@howard.edu

About Howard University

Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 14 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced two Schwarzman Scholars, four Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African American PhD. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.