ST. CLOUD -- St. Cloud State University has officially welcomed their new President Robbyn Wacker.

St. Cloud State held Wacker's inauguration ceremony Monday morning at Ritsche Auditorium on campus.

Some notable attendees that spoke highly of Wacker during the ceremony include St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis, Lt. Governor Michelle Fischbach, Chancellor Devinder Malhotra, Trustee Roger Moe and keynote speaker Faye Hummel. Hummel is a distinguished professor at the School of Nursing at the University of Northern Colorado.

Hummel has been a close friend and colleague to Wacker for over 30 years. She praises Wacker for her courage to forgive, embrace conflict and put others before herself. She says Wacker "acknowledges everyone" and "in her world anything is possible."

Wacker is a first-generation college graduate. She says her parents always inspired her to take chances and to never settle for anything in life. She was especially close to her mom. Wacker says although she believes both of her parents were at the ceremony in spirit she couldn't help but think about what her mom would say to her if she were there in person.

"First of all, she would say how proud she was of course, of me. And she would say, don't forget every day when you get up that you're here to serve the students and the community on the campus so do your best every day and make a difference."

Working with students and understanding their lives is one of Wacker's top priorities. She says every student has different struggles and she wants everyone to know that SCSU will always be on your side to help you through the tough times.

"I think sometimes students can get tripped up and everything seems overwhelming and how are they going to make it through, they've got difficulties with their classes or something else. There are people here to support you and if you just have the resolve and the resilience to figure out how to move forward, how to make it work, you will get through it. And so the message is, you can do that."

Wacker is SCSU's 24th president. She is the first-ever permanent woman president. In honor of her presidency, Governor Mark Dayton has declared October 15 as St. Cloud State University President Robbyn Wacker Day.

Wacker proceeds former President Earl H. Potter III. Potter served as St. Cloud State University President from 2007-2016. He died in a car crash in June 2016.

Interim President Ashish Vaidya lead the university from 2016-2018 while Minnesota State searched for SCSU's next permanent president.

St. Cloud State is celebrating its 150-year anniversary throughout this school year. Homecoming will be the kick off for the sesquicentennial celebration.

SCSU President's Medallion (Chrissy Gaetke, WJON)
SCSU President's Medallion (Chrissy Gaetke, WJON)

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