UW crest


What is an investiture?

As one of the oldest traditions in academia, originating from English universities and modeled after knighthood ceremonies, an investiture is an opportunity for a university to officially recognize its new leader. First coined in the 14th century, the word investiture derives from the Latin phrase for dress in robe. In academic circles, this term has come to mean a leader who will represent the university’s insignia and regalia.

The installation of a new chancellor is a formal event complete with traditions, protocols, and symbols. During an academic procession, delegates from UW–Madison, as well as elected officials and delegates from other universities around the world, represent their institutions by wearing colorful academic regalia. The ceremony features a musical prelude, processional, keynote address, remarks from campus and community constituencies, performances, an inaugural address by the chancellor, singing of Varsity, and a recessional.

Why is UW–Madison hosting an investiture?

Over the past 175 years, UW–Madison has had only two investiture events. In 1850, the university had its first investiture with Chancellor John Lathrop, and more recently, in 2008, with Chancellor Carolyn “Biddy” Martin. Chancellor Jennifer L. Mnookin’s investiture offers a valuable opportunity to share some of the exemplary things happening here on campus, highlight past accomplishments, and consider what the future may hold.

While an investiture signifies a new chapter for a university and its leader, it also represents an opportunity for community celebration and recognition. The Office of the Chancellor and campus leadership recognize the tremendous impact that students, faculty, and staff have on the community and beyond. Leading up to the investiture, several events showcasing this impact are scheduled.

Ceremonial symbols and traditions

Investiture Leadership

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Advisory Group

  • Reez Bailey
    Vice Chair, Associated Students of Madison
  • Russ Castronovo
    Tom Paine Professor of English and Dorothy Draheim Professor of American Studies, College of Letters and Science
  • Catherine Chan
    Assistant Vice Provost for High Impact Practices, Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement
  • Jon Eckhardt
    Associate Professor, Discovery Fellow School of Business at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
  • Ndemazea Fonkem
    Chair, Associated Students of Madison
  • Susan Hagness
    Professor, Chair, Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Eden Inoway-Ronnie
    Chief of Staff, Office of the Provost
  • Gabe Javier
    Associate Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs
  • Torsheika Maddox
    Senior Operations Officer & Chief of Staff, Diversity, Equity & Educational Achievement
  • Mallory Muslof
    Associate Director, Office of Training Grant Support
  • Lauren Papp
    Associate Dean of Research, Jane Rafferty Thiele Professor in Human Ecology HDFS, School of Human Ecology
  • Dean Tokaji
    Dean, Law School
  • Christopher Walker
    Director, Division of the Arts
  • Cathleen Walters
    Associate Dean for Advancement, College of Engineering
  • John Zumbrunnen
    Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning, Office of the Provost

Council Members

  • Kari Backes
    Manager, Babcock Dairy Store
  • Ross Berge
    Building & Grounds Supervisor, Facilities Planning and Management
  • Cassandra Bocchieri
    Alumni Relations Manager, Engineering External Relations
  • Shane Burgess
    Director of Events, UW Athletics
  • Meg Cerny
    Event Coordinator, Wisconsin Union
  • Kelley Conway
    Professor Communication Arts, College of Letters and Science
  • Susan Cook
    Professor and Academic Program Director, Mead Witter School of Music
  • Kelly Copolo
    Academic Program Specialist, Division for Teaching and Learning
  • Deb Curry
    Official Functions Coordinator, Office of the Chancellor
  • Stephanie Diaz de Leon
    Diversity & Inclusion Consultant, Wisconsin Union
  • Susan Dibbel
    Deputy Director, Wisconsin Union
  • Kristina Flores
    Events Manager, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Shelby Fosco
    Co-Curricular Program Manager, Morgridge Center for Public Service
  • McKenzie Glynn-Zdrale
    Managing Director, Engagement Programs, Wisconsin Alumni Association
  • Amy Guthier
    Community Engagement Director, Wisconsin Union
  • Mark Guthier
    Associate Vice Chancellor and Executive Director, Wisconsin Union
  • Brandon Habron
    Registration Coordinator, Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association
  • Jennifer Hanrahan
    Executive Assistant to the Chancellor, Office of the Chancellor
  • Tony Hansbro
    Appeals & Special Events Manager, Facilities Planning and Management
  • Brian Heller
    Director of Operations, Mead Witter School of Music
  • John Horn
    Chief of Staff, Vice Chancellor Finance & Administration
  • Calli Hughes
    Event Coordinator, Office of the Chancellor
  • Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli
    Wheelhouse Studios Program Director, Wisconsin Union
  • Cody Kastorff
    Executive Assistant, University Relations
  • Peter Kleppin
    Executive Producer, Video, University Communications
  • Heidi Lang
    Chief Student Engagement Officer, Wisconsin Union
  • Brad Lanza
    Wisconsin Welcome Programs Coordinator, Center for the First-Year Experience
  • José Luis Ramirez, Jr.
    Assistant Director of Civic Engagement, Morgridge Center for Public Service
  • Liam McLean
    President, Senior Class Office
  • Bailee McNair
    Assistant Director of Hospitality & Events, Kohl Center
  • Morgan Michaels
    Cuisine Advisor, Wisconsin Union
  • Missy Nergard
    Sustainability Director, Facilities Planning and Management
  • Tina Nielsen
    Associate Dean for Operations and Staff, College of Letters and Science
  • Jennifer Noyes
    Chief of Staff, Office of the Chancellor
  • Scott Owczarek
    Associate Vice Provost and University Registrar, Office of the Registrar
  • Hattie Paulin
    Director of Engagement Operations, Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association
  • Maryellen Pawley
    Executive Assistant, Office of the Chancellor
  • Melisa Perez
    Administrative Assistant, Office of the Chancellor
  • Omar Poler
    Indigenous Education Coordinator, Division for Teaching and Learning
  • Catherine Reiland
    Assistant Vice Provost, Director, Wisconsin Idea Seminar
  • Heidi Richardson
    Assistant Director, Catering & Support University Housing
  • Olivia Rossman
    Cuisine Committee Director, Wisconsin Union Directorate
  • Brad Schenkel
    Building and Grounds Manager, Facilities Planning and Management
  • Porter Shreve
    Professor, College of Letters and Science
  • Greg Silver
    Technical Director, Mead Witter School of Music
  • Argyle Wade
    Chief of Staff, Student Affairs
  • Monica Welke
    Special Assistant, Office of the Chancellor
  • Casey Whyte
    Dairy Plant Manager, Babcock Dairy Plant
  • Eric Wilcots
    Dean, College of Letters and Science

Board of Regents

University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents

  • Angela Adams
  • Robert Atwell
  • Scott Beightol
  • Amy Blumenfeld Bogost
  • Héctor Colón
  • Mike Jones
  • Edmund Manydeeds III
  • John W. Miller
  • Rodney Pasch
  • Cris Peterson
  • Joan Prince
  • Ashok Rai
  • Jennifer Staton
  • Brianna Tucker
  • Jill Underly
  • Dana Wachs
  • Karen Walsh, President
  • Kyle M. Weatherly

Presidents of the Board of Regents

From 1971 to today

  • W. Roy Kopp
  • Frank J. Pelisek
  • Bertram N. McNamara
  • Edward E. Hales
  • Herbert J. Grover
  • Joyce M. Erdman
  • David E. Beckwith
  • Ben R. Lawton
  • Laurence A. Weinstein
  • Paul R. Schilling
  • Thomas L. Lyon
  • George K. Steil, Sr.
  • Michael W. Grebe
  • Sheldon B. Lubar
  • San W. Orr, Jr.
  • Jay L. Smith
  • Guy A. Gottschalk
  • Toby E. Marcovich
  • David G. Walsh
  • Mark J. Bradley
  • Charles R. Pruitt
  • Michael J. Spector
  • Brent P. Smith
  • Michael J. Falbo
  • Regina M. Millner
  • John Robert Behling
  • Andrew S. Petersen
  • Edmund Manydeeds III
  • Karen Walsh

The history of UW–Madison

Since its founding in 1848, the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus has been a catalyst for the extraordinary. The people who live, work, and study here have created and fostered a rich tradition of national and international leadership in teaching, research, entrepreneurship, and public service. The result is a world-class institution, grounded in solving real-world problems.

From the humble beginnings of its first class of 17 students, the university has grown into a large, diverse community with nearly 50,000 students enrolled, representing every county in Wisconsin, all 50 states, and 123 countries. UW–Madison consistently ranks near the top of public universities for quality of education and for the amount of its research expenditures. Its faculty and alumni include MacArthur “genius grant” fellows, Fortune 500 CEOs, global thought leaders, and innovators in their fields.

Leaders of UW–Madison have relied on two significant principles that drive intellectual and academic life on campus: “sifting and winnowing” and the Wisconsin Idea.

The former dates back to an 1894 UW Board of Regents statement on academic freedom:

Whatever may be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere, we believe that the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found.

Inspired by this spirit, scholarly inquiry has fed a steady stream of discoveries. From vitamins, agricultural techniques, and wildlife ecology to stem cells, biofuels, and economic well-being, the university continues to foster ideas and research that change lives. That mission is encapsulated in the Wisconsin Idea— a concept articulated more than a century ago that the university’s influence should benefit everyone in the state. Today, this principle has expanded to a global scale. The Wisconsin Idea continues to permeate everything the university does, helping to forge close partnerships between faculty, staff, and students, and people, communities, and industries around the world.

Each of the previous 29 individuals invested as leader of UW–Madison has continued and given new meaning to this work during their tenure. Chancellor Jennifer L. Mnookin has pledged to continue to champion the Wisconsin Idea, as well as the fearless pursuit of knowledge, creating a learning environment that, as the university’s mission statement reads, “will help ensure the survival of this and future generations and improve the quality of life for all.”

Past presidents and chancellors

From the university’s first chancellor, John Hiram Lathrop, to Jennifer L. Mnookin, many influential leaders have shaped the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Meet our former leaders »

A collage of ten of the past chancellors at University of Wisconsin–Madison.