Augustana College will inaugurate its ninth president, Andrea Kathryn Talentino, in an outdoor ceremony beginning at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15, on the campus Quad, during Homecoming weekend.

Andrea Talentino will be inaugurated as Augustana College’s 9th president on Oct. 15, 2022.

A street party on 7th Avenue open to the community will immediately follow to celebrate this new chapter in the college’s history. The street through campus will be closed to traffic between 38th and 34th streets, Rock Island.

The party immediately following the ceremony will offer festivities on 7th Avenue from Centennial Hall to the Lindberg Center. A map of the street closure is available HERE. The street party includes food, music, children’s activities and more. Most food items will cost $1 (cash only), with all dollars donated to the Rock Island High School Resource Room, which provides clothing, food and hygiene items to students and families of the Rock Island-Milan School District.

Talentino, who joined the college July 1, said she is thrilled for the upcoming opportunities to celebrate with members of the campus and Quad-Cities community.

New college president Andrea Talentino has a bachelor’s degree in political science at Yale University, and a master’s and doctorate in political science from UCLA. While serving as dean at Norwich, she earned an MBA with a concentration in organizational leadership.

“I am really looking forward to inauguration weekend, which is so amazing because it’s only the ninth time in 162 years it has happened at Augustana,” she said in a Thursday college release. “We’re planning an incredible event that will combine a formal ceremony befitting such a rare occasion with a great party, both of which the community can enjoy.

“It really speaks to how we see the connection between the college and the community where we live and help serve,” Talentino said.

Augustana College in Rock Island broke a fundraising record for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Those attending the inauguration ceremony are invited to bring lawn chairs and blankets as seating at the ceremony will be limited. The ceremony will be livestreamed for those unable to attend.

The inauguration ceremony will be emceed by distinguished alumni Angie Mitchum Sharp, a 2008 graduate, and Ryan Jenkins, a 2018 graduate. John Murabito, chair of the Augustana Board of Trustees and a member of the Class of 1980, will lead the investiture.

Augustana president Andrea Talentino is the first female leader of the 162-year-old private school photo by Jonathan Turner).

Special speakers include Bill Dorfman, former director of Camp Walt Whitman. It was at this New Hampshire camp where President Talentino’s leadership skills were first recognized and where she began to imagine herself as a leader, the college release said.

Prior to serving Augustana, Talentino was the provost of Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y. She also served as the dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Norwich University in Vermont. She was an associate dean at Drew University in New Jersey, held a faculty position at Tulane University and a postdoctoral position at Princeton University.

Talentino earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Yale University, then completed a master’s and doctorate in political science from UCLA. While serving as dean at Norwich, she earned an MBA with a concentration in organizational leadership

Augustana announced Dec. 7, 2021, the selection of Talentino to succeed Steven C. Bahls, who retired after nearly two decades of service. President Talentino has spent the last several months connecting with the Rock Island campus and Quad-Cities community. She was drawn to Augustana for a shared vision of creating inclusive, holistic, challenging and integrated student experiences that lead to transformational opportunities.

Steve Bahls retired this year after leading Augustana for 19 years.

An art exhibition will be in Wallenberg Hall throughout the semester, including during inauguration weekend. Featured artists are Steven Banks, Gray Cunnar ’21, Matt Fitzsimmons, Elizabeth Hord ’19, Paul Lange, Dr. Margaret Morse, Esme O’Rourke ’20, Vickie R. Phipps, Faith Pickslay ’19, Megan Quinn, Henry Roderick ’17, Rowen Schussheim-Anderson, Corrine Smith, Lee White and Peter Xiao.

Other inauguration events include a student picnic Oct. 9, an invitation-only grand reception Oct. 14, and a faculty music recital Oct. 15. A complete list of inauguration festivities can be viewed HERE, and a complete list of the college’s 102nd Homecoming celebration is available HERE.