7 Ways to Get Involved in President Ryan’s Inauguration

Jim Ryan will be inaugurated as the University’s ninth president on Oct. 19, with celebrations through the weekend.

On Oct. 19, Jim Ryan will officially be sworn in as the University of Virginia’s ninth president, and there are plenty of opportunities for students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members to join in and celebrate this unique moment in UVA’s history.

Here are seven ways you can participate, ranging from a research symposium to a 5K.

Witness the Inauguration

Each year, the UVA community gathers on the Lawn for seminal moments from Convocation and Final Exercises to the Lighting of the Lawn. This year, one more seminal moment will join that list: the inauguration of a president, for just the ninth time in the University’s 200-year history.

Witness this piece of history on the Lawn on Friday, Oct. 19 at 3 p.m., when Ryan and others will take part in the formal installation ceremony.

The event will include an academic procession with representatives from universities all over the country, remarks from the new president, a swearing-in ceremony and a community reception on the north plaza of the Rotunda. Both the ceremony and the reception are free and open to the public.

The installation ceremony will also be streamed live on the University's Facebook page.

When: Friday, Oct. 19 at 3 p.m.

Where: The Lawn (rain location: John Paul Jones Arena). Parking and shuttle buses are available.

Let Us Know You're Coming

Register: RSVP here for the installation ceremony and all other inauguration events. Registration is encouraged, but not required.

Run or Walk with President Ryan

As you might have heard, UVA’s new president loves to run. In fact, he recently invited students and community members on an early – 6:30 a.m. – run, and more than 125 showed up.

If you missed that run, or if you are ready for another one, sign up for the Community Bridges 5K Run/Walk, being held on Saturday, Oct. 20, to celebrate Ryan’s inauguration and support nonprofits in Charlottesville. All proceeds from the race will benefit the Center for Nonprofit Excellence, which aids more than 280 local nonprofit organizations.

The race begins at 9 a.m. in front of the Chemistry Building on McCormick Road. All are welcome to run, walk, cheer on participants, or assist with the race as volunteers.

Former UVA track stars and Olympians Paul Ereng, who won a gold medal for Kenya in the 1988 Olympic Games, and Margaret Groos, a marathon runner who won the U.S. Olympic Trials that year and was the first woman to accept an athletic scholarship at UVA, will be on hand to kick things off.

Ryan himself will run in the event, joining hundreds on a route highlighting bridges – literal and figurative – between the University and Charlottesville communities.

When: Saturday, Oct. 20 at 9 a.m.

Where: The 5K begins in front of the Chemistry Building on McCormick Road and winds through Grounds and Charlottesville for just over three miles.

Register: Register here, as an individual or in teams. The registration fee is $25, with an additional discount for students and youth under 18, and fee waivers available.

Celebrate Local Nonprofits

Immediately after the 5K, participants and community members will gather in McIntire Amphitheater on Grounds for a Celebration of Service featuring more than 50 service organizations around UVA and Charlottesville.

The event is free and open to the public. It is designed to highlight some of the many nonprofit organizations and volunteer opportunities at UVA and in Charlottesville, and will include free food trucks, music from student and guest DJs, information booths, two donation drives and a mini service project.

There is even an opportunity to win prizes, including a chance to take in several UVA sporting events and concerts from the president’s suites at John Paul Jones Arena or Scott Stadium.

When: Saturday, Oct. 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: McIntire Amphitheater (rain location: Newcomb Hall Ballroom)

Register: Register here for the Celebration of Service and all other inauguration events. Student service organizations can submit a video about their project for a chance to be featured at the event.

Learn More About Some of UVA’s Most Extraordinary Research

Friday morning, before the inauguration ceremony, some of UVA’s brightest minds will share their research with the community at a Profiles of Discovery event in the Rotunda’s Dome Room.

The event will feature three 45-minute sessions with brief presentations from researchers, followed by a panel discussion. The sessions will highlight innovative research in everything from astronomy to infectious diseases and explore how professors teach their research in the classroom.

The concluding session, “Democracy and Citizenship,” will focus on UVA’s founding goal of educating citizen-leaders, a goal born as America was coming into its own as a new nation.

When: Friday, Oct. 19 from 9 to 11:30 a.m.

Where: Rotunda Dome Room

Register: Register here for Profiles of Discovery and all other inauguration events.

Listen to Your Fellow ’Hoos at Double Take

Good stories bring people together. Great stories can change whole communities.

That’s the premise behind “Double Take: Stories That Make You Think Twice,” a community-wide storytelling event on Saturday, Oct. 20, from 2 to 3 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Ten members of the University community, including the newly inaugurated Ryan, will take the stage to share personal stories with a live audience in Old Cabell Hall. Stories were selected from student and community submissions made online on in-person through a StoryStream trailer parked around Grounds.

When: Saturday, Oct. 20 from 2 to 3 p.m.

Where: Old Cabell Hall Auditorium

Register: Register here for Double Take and all other inauguration events.


Get a behind-the-scenes look at a historic moment on Grounds as a student volunteer.

There are several opportunities for student volunteers throughout the weekend to assist visitors and set up for inauguration events. All student volunteers will receive a free T-shirt, meals and snacks and will be invited to a thank-you picnic hosted by Ryan in early November.

Check out the volunteer sign-up form to find a time slot that works for you. 

Spread the Word

There will be plenty of excitement around Grounds throughout the inauguration. Let people know which events you are going to, bring friends along and follow the University’s social media accounts – including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – to see highlights from the weekend.

Don’t forget to follow Ryan (on Facebook or @presjimryan) as well, to get his perspective on his inauguration.

Media Contact

Caroline Newman

Associate Editor Office of University Communications