HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College will mark a new chapter in its history with the inauguration of Christina Royal as its fourth president today, Nov. 3, at 10 a.m. in HCC’s Leslie Phillips Theater in the Fine & Performing Arts building.
Royal started working at HCC in January. She is just the fourth president in the 71-year history of HCC and the first woman to hold the position.
The inauguration ceremony will include a processional of HCC faculty, staff, and distinguished guests, including the presidents of the other Massachusetts community colleges, as well as the presidents from some of HCC’s top local transfer partners: Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Elms College, and Westfield State University.
Also attending and offering brief remarks during the ceremony will be Carlos Santiago, state commissioner of Higher Education; Holyoke mayor Alex Morse; state Rep. Aaron Vega; Gillian McKnight-Tutein, vice president of Academic and Student Affairs from Front Range Community College; Monica Torregrosa, HCC professor of Spanish; and HCC student Boshan Zheng. Robert Gilbert, chair of the HCC board of trustees, will present the presidential medallion to Royal, who will give a special address.
For those who cannot attend and would still like to watch, the inauguration ceremony will be livestreamed on the HCC website: www.hcc.edu
The ceremony will be immediately followed at about 11:20 a.m. by an inauguration celebration showcasing HCC’s “Proud Past and Bright Future” in the lobby outside the theater and in the adjoining Kittredge Center for Business and Workforce Development.
Before coming to HCC, Royal served as the provost and vice president of Academic Affairs at Inver Hills Community College in Inver Grove Heights, Minn.
She holds a PhD in education from Capella University and a master of arts in educational psychology and a bachelor of arts in math from Marist College.
She succeeded President William F. Messner, who retired in August 2016 after serving for 12 years.