WILMINGTON -- Excitement soared at UNC Wilmington Friday as a new chancellor took the oath of office. Gary Miller was officially installed as the university's fourth chancellor.
Hundreds gathered at UNCW Wilmington for the ceremony. It's a centuries old academic tradition.
"It's an opportunity to uplift the university and really show case what the university is all about," said Max Allen, UNCW Chief of Staff.
Miller started last July, giving him time to develop an understanding and vision for the university. After taking his oath of office and receiving the university medallion, he shared his new theme for the Seahawks: Dare to Soar.
"To prepare students to thrive in this information age is our most important obligation and one we must and will hold ourselves accountable," said Miller.
He titled the university's values as "Commitment to the Journey, Love of Place, and The Power of Ideas and Innovation."
UNC system leaders asked the audience to support and join Miller in this new endeavor.
"I urge you all to stand behind Chancellor Miller and in doing so recognize everyday the importance of public universities in the life of this state and its people," said Hannah Gage, the chair of the UNC Board of Governors.
Donations from alumni and friends of the university paid for the $85,000 ceremony and picnic. Students said they're grateful and honored to be part of the university's history.
"It's really cool as a student to be able to come to this, be involved and see everything that is happening. It's really cool to see all the support the community gives to the school," said student Tara Hardy.
Friday's events wrapped up a month-long celebration.
Miller is the university's fourth chancellor and seventh leader. Miller took over after Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo retired.