Investiture for President Kolison planned for Sept. 9

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President Kolison

The State University of New York at Fredonia is pleased to announce the pandemic-delayed Investiture for Stephen H. Kolison Jr., Ph.D., as the university's 14th President. The ceremony will take place Friday, Sept. 9 at 1 p.m., in King Concert Hall.

Dr. Kolison began his term as President of SUNY Fredonia on Aug. 17, 2020, in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused a delay in the traditional Investiture ceremony.

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The Investiture will be a simpler one-day ceremony instead of a traditional multi-day event. President Kolison is forgoing the customary pomp and circumstance to instead put the focus on SUNY Fredonia and its students as the university approaches its bicentennial.

Investiture information
The theme for the event is, ""Enhancing Access to, and Persistence at, the Well of Knowledge, Discovery, and Success." A key element of President Kolison's message, as SUNY Fredonia approaches its bicentennial in 2026, will focus on his vision for a bicentennial fund. The fund's purpose will be to increase the university’s capacity in attracting and retaining students, especially first-generation students and students from financially challenged backgrounds.

"I believe higher education is among the most reliable vehicles to success in life regardless of background," said President Kolison. "People who earn advanced degrees have a higher quality of life and are often more able to lay the foundation for their children, family members, or loved ones to enhance their socioeconomic status."

Along with State University of New York Interim Chancellor Deborah F. Stanley and other speakers to be announced shortly, President Kolison will be joined on stage by student speaker France Souneka Charles, a first-generation Haitian immigrant from Long Island, New York. France is a senior double major in Economics and Marketing. She will be speaking about her journey to Fredonia, the challenges she has overcome, and the importance of making higher education accessible to everyone.

“It is an honor to have been chosen as a student speaker for such a momentous occasion in Fredonia's history, as we formally install our university’s 14th President,” Ms. Charles said. “Being a first-generation immigrant, I have witnessed and experienced firsthand the importance of higher education to one’s future. As a student at SUNY Fredonia, I am taking the necessary steps in preparation for a prosperous future. As Malcolm X said, ‘Education is the passport to the future.”

Global health activist and Chautauqua County native Donato J. Tramuto will give the keynote address. Tramuto is the founder of the TramutoPorter Foundation and former CEO of Tivity Health®, Inc., and is widely recognized for his commitment to social change and transformational leadership in healthcare innovation. He is the author of “The Double Bottom Line: How Compassionate Leaders Captivate Hearts and Deliver Results,” which defines a new model of leadership and examines how to cultivate more compassionate people. Fredonia's faculty and campus offices are encouraged to offer programming relating to compassion and civility leading up to the investiture and throughout the academic year.  Student groups on campus are also encouraged to think about hosting activities around compassion and civility during the week and all year long.

President Kolison invites all students, faculty, staff, friends of the university, and stakeholders to attend this event designed to underscore and advance the work of expanding access to Fredonia and ensuring the success of its students while fulfilling the university's tradition of an Investiture for its President.

Attendance is free, but anyone who wishes to attend must register at

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