Stanford News October 21, 2016Prepared text by President Emeritus Gerhard Casper at the inauguration of Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne
Following is the text of remarks by President Emeritus Gerhard Casper as prepared for delivery at the inauguration of Stanford’s 11th president, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, on Oct. 21, 2016.
Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen!
On behalf of the university and, especially, on behalf of the three former presidents present here today – Don Kennedy, John Hennessy and me, Gerhard Casper – I warmly welcome all of you, and, in particular, our alumni who have come home for reunion weekend.
Today is a joyous occasion, because for the 11th time since David Starr Jordan took office 125 years ago, Stanford greets a new president. It is my very great privilege to welcome Marc Tessier-Lavigne as the 11th president of the university.
After the great Wallace Sterling, you, Mr. President, are the second person of Canadian origin to occupy the Stanford presidency. Indeed, both Wally Sterling and you were born in Ontario.
I will state that, by comparison with all of your predecessors – Jordan, Branner, Wilbur, Tresidder, Sterling, Pitzer, Lyman, Kennedy, Casper and Hennessy – your Franco-Ontarian name is the longest and hardest to pronounce. That may be to your advantage rather than disadvantage. It seems to me that it was easier to wonder publicly “What is Casper up to?” than “What is Tessier-Lavigne up to,” especially if you are baffled by the pronunciation.
I also warmly welcome Mary Hynes, Marc’s wife, like her husband, a neuroscientist. Of the three children who are all present here today – Christian, Kyle and Ella – Ella is a Stanford freshman. She was early admitted to Stanford way before her father. I hope, Ella, I will be the very last person who makes reference to the fact that you are related to the Stanford president.
We are very pleased to greet Marc’s mother, …