SSU to inaugurate Kurtz

PORSTMOUTH, Ohio – Dr. Rick S. Kurtz will be inaugurated as the sixth president of Shawnee State University in a formal ceremony at 2 p.m. Friday, April 15, in the Eloise Covert Smith Theater at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. The installation ceremony is one of several events planned on campus as part of Inauguration Week, April 11-15.

Kurtz was selected by the SSU Board of Trustees last spring to succeed Dr. Rita Rice Morris who retired after 12 years as president of the institution. During his first eight months at Shawnee State, Kurtz has met with hundreds of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and community members as part of efforts to develop a strategic plan for Shawnee State University.

“Over the past few months, Dr. Kurtz has brought the campus community together in new and exciting ways to look at how we can best serve the needs of a new generation,” Kay Reynolds, Chairperson of the SSU Board of Trustees, said. “As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Shawnee State University, we are looking forward to the next 30 years. How fitting to begin that journey with the inauguration of the person chosen to lead us there.”

In addition to the formal installation ceremony on April 15, Inauguration Week will include an Alumni Council event, a special Emeritus Breakfast, a President’s Club reception following Ragtime – The Musical on April 12, and a student research conference, Celebration of Scholarship, on April 13 and 14. The community is invited to Celebration of Scholarship, which will conclude with a Picnic with the President from noon to 2 p.m. on April 14 on the University Lawn.

The annual Spring Bear Run will also be a part of inauguration activities, beginning at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 13.

A reception and campus open house will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on April 15, following the installation ceremony. Tours, demonstrations in Plastics and Motion Capture, a senior art exhibit show, and Planetarium shows will all be part of the open house. The SSU’s Theatre Program will finish out the day’s event and present Lend Me a Tenor at 7:30 p.m. in the Kahl Theater in the VRCFA.

To wrap up Inauguration Week, The President’s Gala will be at 6:30 p.m. on Sat., April 16 in the Sodexo Ballroom in the University Center. To purchase tickets for the gala, go to

For more information about Inauguration Week, please go to