Investiture is defined as a ceremony in which someone is given an official rank, authority or power. An investiture is one of the oldest traditions in academia; a milestone that celebrates a new era for the university while honoring its history.
Though President DesRoches assumed his role July 1, 2022, the Rice community, alongside members of the international academic community and citizens of the city of Houston, will join together to celebrate the official transfer of leadership.
The investiture ceremony itself features a number of rituals normally associated with events such as commencement. There is a full academic procession led by the chief marshal and color guard, followed by the board of trustees, faculty and distinguished delegates from other academic institutions and learned societies from around the world. The full academic regalia worn by these groups adds to the majesty of the ceremony. Staff, students, alumni and members of the general public are all witnesses to this marking of a new beginning in the life of the university. Elements of the ceremony include: festive music, remarks from the diverse constituencies that comprise the Rice community, the formal presentation of the presidential medal and investiture of the new president by the chairman of the board of trustees, and an inaugural address by the new president.