The University of Vermont has officially welcomed its 27th president.
Suresh Garimella started work in July, but was formally installed as president on Thursday. He says he believes the success of the state and the school he now leads are inextricably linked.
Garimella, who served in a variety of leadership roles at Purdue University and as an advisor to several national organizations, said Thursday’s ceremony marked “an important transition, an expression of our collective will and aspiration to reach even greater heights.”
Garimella said student success will be one of his top priorities. He says he was drawn to UVM because it’s a land grant university.
“What I believe to be one of the greatest experiments in higher education,” he said. “We will do all we can to enhance the intellectual, human, and social capital of our community.”
Members of Vermont’s Congressional delegation also attended the installation. Governor Phil Scott said the University of Vermont is a huge economic driver for the state. With a $1.3 billion annual impact, it creates 11,000 jobs.
“UVM continues to play a role because there are thousands of students, many out of state, who we desperately need to stay right here in Vermont,” Scott said.
Garimella follows former UVM president Thomas Sullivan, who stepped down from the position to finish writing a book.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.