Heritage University Inaugurates its Third President
A whirlwind of events in March brought together a campus and a community to celebrate the
inauguration of Heritage University’s third president, Dr. Andrew Sund.
Over the course of three days, the university hosted several events, each designed to celebrate different aspects of the university, its mission, and the people from the campus community and beyond.
“Inaugurations are as much a celebration of the universities and the communities that they serve, as they are of the incoming president,” said David Wise, vice president for marketing and advancement.
The university opened its festivities with the President’s Inauguration Prelude, an event that honored its relationship with the Yakama Nation and the founding of the university by two Yakama women, Violet Lumley Rau and Martha Yallup, along with Sister Kathleen Ross. During the Prelude, the university dedicated the permanent installation of the Heritage teepee. The teepee now serves as a learning center and is a significant part of the university campus.
Later that evening, the university moved its celebration to the Columbia Basin College (CBC) campus for a reception with faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the university. The event was an opportunity for those who are tied to the regional site to meet Dr. Sund and hear about his vision for the university and its partnership with CBC.
On its second day of the celebration, Heritage hosted educators from around the Yakima Valley at a luncheon with the president. The event brought together school counselors, principals, superintendents, as well as faculty from the university’s College of Education.
In the evening, Heritage hosted the President’s Inauguration Jubilee at the Yakima Seasons Performance Hall. It was an arts and cultural event that celebrated the richness of the Yakima Valley and the people who call this area home. This multicultural repertoire of music, poetry,
and dance featured some of the Yakima Valley’s most talented artists. A mariachi band welcomed guests as they arrived and a pre-show reception featured a gallery filled with works by local artists and Heritage students. Performances that night included a classical violin solo by Denise Dillenbeck, smooth jazz by the Yakima Valley College Jazz Ensemble, readings by poet Dan Peters, choral works by the Yakima Symphony Chorus, traditional Native American dancing by The Four Seasons Travelers, pop and rock music by the Latino band Avión, and contemporary indie music by Naomi Wachira.
“The Jubilee was especially meaningful,” said Wise. “The Yakima Valley is a vibrant tapestry of rich cultures, which was demonstrated through the performances at the Seasons. It was a beautiful night.”
The celebrations capped off with the formal installation during a ceremony steeped in academic tradition. The event began with the grand procession of regalia-clad faculty, visiting dignitaries from other colleges and universities, members of the platform party, student representatives, and the Yakama Warriors color guard marching across campus from the Kathleen Ross snjm Center to Smith Family Hall in the Arts and Sciences Center. They marched down the aisle to a recording of the “Heritage University Tribute Anthem,” composed for the university by Joan McCusker, IHM and performed by the Yakima Symphony Orchestra. Davis Washines, chair of the Yakama General Council and Dr. Kathleen Ross, snjm each presented an invocation and Dr. Keith Watson, president of Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, and Norm Johnson, WashingtonState Representative, 14th District (R) presented greetings. Before representatives from the Student Government Association, Faculty Senate, Staff Educators Senate, and university alumni make their remarks, students from the Wapato High School Choir “En Vox” performed an interlude of choral music. They later sang the university’s alma mater Lift High the Banner! , written by Dr. Curtis L. Guaglianone and arranged by Aaron L. Jameson. David Cordova, friend and former colleague of Dr. Sund, made the introduction before Heritage Board of Directors Chair Pat Oshie presented Dr. Sund with the chain of office during the Ceremony of Investiture.
During his presidential address, Dr. Sund shared his appreciation of the deep roots that the university has with the Yakama Nation and the importance of that relationship. He spoke of the importance of building academics that prepare students to meet the needs of the businesses in
the Yakima Valley.
“We can become even more of an institution that responds to the needs in the Valley for an educated population that serves the growth and benefit of this wonderful region, but also serves the aspirations of our students,” he said. “In doing that we will be successful.”
Dr. Sund joined Heritage University in July 2017. He succeeded Dr. John Bassett, who retired after serving as president for seven years. President Sund came to Heritage University from St. Augustine College in Chicago, where he served as president from 2008 to 2017. Before St. Augustine, Dr. Sund was Dean of Workforce and Community Education at Olive Harvey College, one of the city colleges of Chicago, from 2004 to 2008.