"My Work is From the Heart"
Inauguration & Investiture: YouTube video playlist
President Subra Suresh
Patina Miller, Subra Suresh, Eric Schmidt
The investiture of Carnegie Mellon University President Subra Suresh was a rite of passage — not only for the man, but also the institution reflecting the inaugural theme "Crossing Boundaries, Transforming Lives."
Suresh had his own take on the university's motto, "My heart is in the work," when he stated, "My work is from the heart."
The ceremony reflected many of the aspects of Carnegie Mellon achievement. Among the elements of the university culture on display were original poetry by Jim Daniels, the Thomas Stockham Baker Professor from the department of English; a performance by Tony Award winner Patina Miller (A'06), who sang "Corner of the Sky" by Stephen Schwartz (A'68); and remarks by CMU's longest-serving faculty member Allan Meltzer, the Allan H. Meltzer University Professor of Political Economy.
In his keynote address, Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google and a former CMU Trustee, shared his thoughts about the university and called it "a place of mythical achievement."
Schmidt remarked how Andrew Carnegie's original plan called for a home for the arts to be built alongside an institution focusing on training and technology.
"[CMU] is known for, obviously, its computer and engineering work, but let's not forget the School of Drama is celebrating 100 years in 2014, and the School of Music just celebrated its centennial in 2012," Schmidt said.
"Now we have a new leader who is the perfect combination to lead us forward," he said.
Carnegie Mellon has a history of philanthropists who have crossed boundaries to transform lives. One such example is David A. Tepper (TPR'82). As part of the inaugural celebration, President Suresh announced a $67 million gift from Tepper's charitable foundation to create the David A. Tepper Quadrangle. The new Tepper Quad builds on CMU's strengths, creating new interdisciplinary interactions for learning and research and connecting innovation to the business community.
Suresh, who took office on July 1, compared the journey he took to arrive at CMU with experiences similar to its founder, Andrew Carnegie. He shared some of the history of the institution, which points the way forward for the university.
Suresh reflected on some of the presidents and scholars who came before him. He described Nobel laureate and CMU faculty member Herbert Simon as a pioneer in the areas of artificial intelligence and machine learning, noting his spirit is still very much alive.
Earlier this week, the university announced the Simon Initiative, a university-wide effort to accelerate the use of learning science and technology to improve student learning.
"Simon grasped the potential power that computing would bring to the world," Suresh said. "He also led by example, embracing the profound value of multiple disciplinary perspectives in conducting research that, to this day, enriches the culture of teaching, creativity and discovery on this campus.
"Carnegie Mellon owes much to such scholars and pioneers. We also owe much to the eight previous presidents of Carnegie Mellon, Arthur Hamerschlag, Thomas Baker, Robert Doherty, John Warner, Guy Stever, Dick Cyert, Robert Mehrabian, and Jerry Cohon, whose hard work and passion for this campus have shaped its intellectual vitality," Suresh said.