Inauguration of Janet Morgan Riggs planned Sept. 11-13 at Gettysburg College

Gettysburg College will celebrate the installation of Janet Morgan Riggs as the college’s 14th president Sept. 11-13.

Riggs' installation ceremony will take place Sept. 12 at 1 p.m. outdoors on the Beachem Portico, north side of Pennsylvania Hall. A reception will follow on Memorial Field near the College Union Building (CUB) from 2:30 to 4 p.m.
The Gettysburg College Board of Trustees unanimously appointed Riggs at its Feb. 6 meeting. While Riggs, Class of 1977, is the first alumna to be named president, three graduates of Pennsylvania College (now Gettysburg College) also led their alma mater: Milton Valentine, Class of 1850, from 1868 to 1884; Harvey Washington McKnight, Class of 1865, from 1884 to 1904; and Samuel Gring Hefelbower, Class of 1891, from 1904 to 1910.
The ceremony will include comments by Riggs and greetings from representatives of various college constituencies. Faculty members will process in academic regalia, as will representatives from other colleges and universities. Students will process representing academic departments, clubs, and organizations.
Preceding the ceremony, students will hold a research poster presentation at 9 a.m. in Masters Hall, Room 117 and lobby. Several Gettysburg College graduates will also speak on the value of a liberal arts education at 10 a.m. in Masters Hall, Mara Auditorium. Alumni speakers include Fred Fielding, Class of 1961, former White House Counsel and member of the 9/11 Commission; Mary Carskadon, Class of 1969, a sleep researcher at Brown University; Jen Bryant, Class of 1982, author of children's books; Kaysie Uniacke, Class of 1983, managing director at Goldman Sachs; and Luke Norris, Class of 2006, a Rhodes and Marshall scholar. Michael Birkner, Class of 1972, the Benjamin Franklin Professor of the Liberal Arts and professor of history at Gettysburg College, will moderate. Masters Hall is located near the campus fountain.
All of these events are open to the public. A complete list of events is available at
In honor of Riggs' inauguration and the National Day of Service, the college’s Center for Public Service will offer a variety of service projects in partnership with community agencies throughout Adams County on Sept. 11. Participation will be limited on a first come, first to serve basis. Gettysburg College alumni will also participate in organized service projects within their communities, including Pittsburgh, Boston and New York. To volunteer locally, contact the Center for Public Service at or 337-6490.
About Janet Morgan Riggs
Riggs has served her alma mater in a variety of faculty and administrative roles for 27 years. From March 2008 to February 2009, she served as interim president prior to being named president. She also served as provost for one year, after having served as interim provost in 2006-07, a post she also held in 1995-96. Riggs was also executive assistant to the president under President Gordon Haaland from 1991 to 1994.
After graduating summa cum laude from Gettysburg College with a B.A. in psychology and mathematics, Riggs received her M.A. and Ph.D. in social psychology from Princeton University. She began her academic career as an instructor in psychology at Gettysburg College where she was promoted through the ranks to professor of psychology. She has also served as chair of the psychology department. Riggs has taught courses in experimental methods, social psychology and general psychology.
Riggs has combined a successful teaching career with active scholarship in her field of social psychology. Her research interests include expectancy confirmation, gender role stereotypes and attributions for behavior. She has published numerous articles on her research and currently serves as consulting editor for the “Psychology of Women Quarterly.”
Riggs is the recipient of the Gettysburg College Student Senate Faculty Appreciation Award, the Thompson Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Gettysburg College Woman of Distinction Award.
A native of suburban Philadelphia, Riggs and her husband Ed, also a member of the Gettysburg College Class of 1977 and a teacher at the Gettysburg Area Middle School, are the parents of three grown children.
Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences. With a student body of approximately 2,600, it is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

By: Kendra Martin, director of media relations, 717.337.6801

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Posted: Thu, 3 Sep 2009

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