A New Era: Runey Invested as JWU Chancellor

The Chancellor Investiture Ceremony was held at Providence Performing Arts Center, a historic theatre.

On Tuesday, March 12, Johnson & Wales University entered a new era with the Chancellor Investiture Ceremony of Mim L. Runey, LP.D. Speakers, dignitaries and guests gathered to celebrate the university’s past, present and future at the historic Providence Performing Arts Center (PPAC).

The formal program began with a procession that included the JWU Honor Guard, a platform party of academics, trustees and dignitaries led by Provost Lily Hsu, Ed.D, as well as student flag bearers representing all seven of JWU’s colleges.

JWU North Miami Campus President and Master of Ceremonies Larry Rice, Ed.D., ’90 opened with welcoming remarks invoking the university’s inspiring origins: “It was just weeks after the start of World War I, at a time when women did not have the right to vote, that Miss Johnson and Miss Wales decided to open a school to teach, mostly women at first, business skills. They were truly trailblazers, ahead of their time.”

"Together, we will write the new chapters in our university’s remarkable second century."

Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo carried that theme in her brief but uplifting speech: “Misses Johnson and Wales would be especially proud to know that a woman of Mim’s vision and leadership is at the helm of the university they founded.” Calling Runey an innovator, she concluded, “I am excited to work together.”

The task of officially conferring the symbols and authority of the office of chancellor fell to Chairman of the JWU Board of Trustees James Hance Jr., who described Runey as “the right leader at the right time to take Johnson & Wales to new heights.” He was joined by President Rice, who assisted him in placing the medallion of the office around Chancellor Runey’s neck.

Chancellor Runey then took the podium, acknowledging both the weight of the university’s history and the bright promise of its future — from offering the state’s first entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctorate program (June 2019), to the planned launch of the College of Food Innovation & Technology (CFIT) in 2020. In addition, JWU’s Providence Campus will be opening multiple new lab spaces, including a media lab and production studio.

In conclusion, Runey told the crowd, “You have my promise that I will do everything in my power and to the best of my abilities to live up to the responsibilities of the office of chancellor and always put what is best for this university — for our students — first.”

President Rice thanked Chancellor Runey for her inspiring remarks and leadership: “On behalf of my fellow presidents at the branch campuses, you have our full support. Together, we will write the new chapters in our university’s remarkable second century of preparing students from all parts of the world for their journey through life.”

The program for the Chancellor Investiture ceremony.

Chancellor Investiture installation.

Governor Raimondo during the ceremony.

Chancellor Runey giving remarks during the event.

Chancellor Runey, Presidents Wiscott, Rice and Malik.

Image of the reception after the ceremony.