Dr. Edward B. Montgomery began his tenure as the ninth president of Western Michigan University Tuesday, Aug. 1, with a full day of activities. He met with the University's academic leadership and area media and reached out to the campus community to offer a few remarks.
"It has been almost four months since the day in April when the Board of Trustees introduced me to you as its pick to be the ninth president and next leader of our University," told those gathered for the occasion. "I am confident that by working together, we can reach new heights and make this the institution of choice for our state and region "I said at the time that my first job would be to get to know the faculty, staff, students and alumni communities, for its only by tapping into your ideas and talents that we can reach this goal together."
Montgomery said he had been reading voraciously about WMU and had only grown more impressed with the university. "I also know there's so much more I still need to learn about WMU. But I am learning quickly. Now that I'm on campus, and with your help, I'll be able to both speed the process along and engage you in developing a road map for action in the coming weeks and months."
He said he would be out and about on campus and invited people to chat with him about their ideas for the school.
Montgomery was selected in April by the WMU Board of Trustees. He comes to WMU from Washington, D.C., where he had served as the dean of the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University since 2010.
Earlier, he served the Obama administration as executive director of the White House Council on Auto Communities and Workers, leading to the popular press description of him as the "Auto Czar."
Montgomery, who has more than 35 years of experience in higher education, succeeds Dr. John M. Dunn, who has served as WMU president for the past decade.
Montgomery's formal installation as president is set to take place at inauguration events Sept. 15 and 16. The date was chosen to coincide with WMU's annual CommUniverCity celebration. Community civic and political leaders and the leaders of colleges and universities from around the county will be invited. Events will include a formal installation ceremony in Miller Auditorium and a picnic on the adjoining Fountain Plaza on Friday, Sept. 15. On Saturday, planned events include the CommUniverCity tailgate tent party followed by the Bronco football vs. Idaho game on Saturday night.
For video comments from Montgomery, please click here