Investiture Speaker

Edward L. Ayers

President Emeritus, University of Richmond

Edward L. Ayers, Tucker-Boatwright Professor of the Humanities at the University of Richmond, served as Richmond’s president from 2007 to 2015, when he was elected president emeritus.

Over four decades of writing history, experimenting with digital scholarship, collaborating in public history, and teaching and leading in higher education, Ayers has tried to find new ways to connect people with the American past. He is executive director of the online project New American History. President Barack Obama awarded him the National Humanities Medal in 2013, hailing his “commitment to making our history as widely available and accessible as possible.”

A 1974 graduate of the University of Tennessee, Ayers did his graduate work at Yale University, where he received a Ph.D. in American Studies. He joined the faculty of the University of Virginia in 1980 and served as Buckner W. Clay Dean of the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences 2001-2007.

Ayers is author of “In the Presence of Mine Enemies: The Civil War in the Heart of America, 1859-1863,” winner of the Bancroft Prize and the Beveridge Prize, and “The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction,” a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.

Guest Speakers

Professor Eric P. Bettinger

Associate Professor of Economics of Education, Stanford Graduate School of Education
Wednesday, Sept. 29; 7:30 p.m.
Colton Chapel

Eric Bettinger is a professor in the Stanford University School of Education. He is also a research associate in the program on education at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Bettinger is the Director of the Center for Educational Policy Analysis and a Co-Director at the Lemann Center for Brazilian Education at Stanford. His research interests include economics of education; student success and completion in college; the impacts of financial aid; teacher characteristics and student success in college; effects of voucher programs on both academic and non-academic outcomes. Eric’s research focuses on using rigorous statistical methods in identifying cause-and-effect relationships in higher education. His research on simplifying financial aid applications has influenced recent efforts by the White House to simplify financial aid processes. He has served as a consultant to the White House and various state governments on financial aid policies.

John Sexton

President Emeritus, New York University; Dean Emeritus, NYU Law School; Benjamin Butler Professor of Law.
Friday, Oct. 1 
Tent, March Field

In addition to his work as President Emeritus, Sexton currently serves as the CEO of the Catalyst Foundation for Universal Education, Chair of the University of the People President’s Council, and Chair of the Mary Christie Foundation. a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a member of the board of the Institute of International Education, the College Advising Corps, and the Board of Trustees of Trinity School, New York City. He is past Chair of the American Council on Education, the University of Rochester, the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities of New York, and the New York Academy of Sciences. While Dean of the Law School, he was President of the Association of American Law Schools.

Eric Griggs

Assistant Professor, LSU School of Medicine; Director of Community Medicine, Access Health Louisiana; founder and Executive Director of the Doc Griggs Foundation.
Friday, Oct. 1 
Marquis Founder’s Dinner (by invitation); 6:30 p.m.
Tent, March Field

“Doc Griggs” is the health and wellness awareness persona of Dr. Eric Griggs, a New Orleans-based Community Medicine Doctor and Health Educator who has dedicated his professional life to raising health and wellness awareness in the communities across the country. In addition to being recently appointed as an Assistant Professor at the LSU School of Medicine and his role as Director of Community Medicine at Access Health Louisiana, Dr. Griggs proudly serves as the founder and Executive Director of the Doc Griggs Foundation, a community-driven, student-activated and professionally-mentored organization that promotes community health by empowering the community to ‘Get Checked. Get Fit. Get Moving!’