John Grayson

Inaugural Invocation
September 24, 2010

See the video.

Build thee more stately mansions,
O my soul,
As the swift seasons roll!
Leave thy low-vaulted past!
Let each new temple, nobler
Than the last,
Shut thee from heaven
with a dome more vast,
Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell
By life’s unresting sea!
–Holmes, The Chambered Nautilus

In this moment–and in this hallowed place–may Divine Grace be present as we celebrate the inauguration of Lynn Pasquerella as the eighteenth president of Mount Holyoke College –

We pause to acknowledge…

That great "cloud of witnesses”–trustees, alumnae, administrators, faculty, students, staff, and distinguished guests, including family and friends–whose counsel, encouragement, wisdom, and loyalty have brought Lynn to this auspicious moment.

We invoke…

The "spirit" of Mary Lyon and the long line of presidents who–over 173 years of this institution’s history–embraced Mary Lyon’s vision to provide the highest quality education for women of the world, and carried that vision forward by leading Mount Holyoke to the distinguished place it now occupies. As the mantle of Leadership is conferred upon Lynn Pasquerella, let "academic excellence" and "contributing to the common good" continue to be our aim.

Finally, let…

Those sacred forces, faith, reason, and justice abide with us. May the Divine–known to us by many names–bless and inspire us. Let our thoughts and the powers of reason reveal the necessary means for confronting the intellectual, social, and spiritual challenges of the twenty-first century. And as Lynn leads us toward the future, may our constant aim be to realize that day when “justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”

We give thanks for this promise of a new beginning.