Investiture Ceremony


John M. Beehler, Ph.D., CPA
Twelfth President of Jacksonville State University

"Transformative, Innovative and Engaged for Success: The T.I.E.S. that bind the university together"

Friday, April 8, 2016, 10 a.m.
Pete Mathews Coliseum



Dr. Rebecca O. Turner, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Tyler Brown, President, Student Government Association
Darren Douthitt, President, National Alumni Association
Dr. Windon Edge, President, Faculty Senate

Address and Investiture
Jim Bennett, Chairman, Board of Trustees


Mr. Bennett began his career as a newspaper reporter, covering the Civil Rights Movement for the Birmingham Post-Herald throughout the 1960s – including the day in 1963 when fire hoses were turned on peaceful protesters. He went on to work in public affairs before beginning his long career in public service. Jim Bennett, Chairman of the Jacksonville State University Board of Trustees, holds the distinction of having served the longest number of years as Alabama Secretary of State (1993-2003 and 2013-2015). The JSU alumnus received a Bachelor of Science from the university in 1962 and a Master of Arts from the University of Alabama in 1980.

For more than 30 years, Mr. Bennett served the state of Alabama. He was a member of the Alabama State House of Representatives from 1978-1983 and a member of the State Senate from 1983-1993. He was appointed Secretary of State in 1993 and was elected to the position in 1994 and 1998.  He was appointed Labor Commissioner in 2003, 2006 and 2011.  In 2013, he was appointed to serve another stint as Secretary of State, which he completed in 2015.

Inaugural Address
President Beehler

Presentation of the Colors
Jacksonville State University ROTC Honor Guard

Teresa Stricklin
Jacksonville State University Symphonic Band
Jacksonville State University A Cappella Choir
Jacksonville State University Gospel Choir
Jacksonville State University Chamber Winds

Reverend James R. Macey, Ed.D., Pastor, St. Charles Catholic Church

JSU Ambassadors
Gamecock Orientation Leaders
Student Alumni Association Ambassadors

Symbolic Elements in the Investiture Ceremony

The Presidential Medallion
At the ceremony, President Beehler will be presented one of the most significant symbols of the university: the Presidential Medallion. Bearing the crest of the university, the medallion is custom made for each president. The ancient symbol of authority signifies the institution’s charter and right to confer honors. It is worn by the president on academic and ceremonial occasions, including commencement.


The Crest
The crest of Jacksonville State University was created in the 1930s at the request of President Clarence W. Daugette, who served from 1899 to 1942. It was designed by artist Grace Stevenson McAbee, whose original drawing is on display at the Alumni House. The crest exhibits the Lamp of Knowledge above Seven Strands of Rope, surmounting a shield-encased Griffin, emblazoned with a combination of laurel and oak leaves, under which is a Latin inscription "EXEGI MONUMENTUM AERE PERENNIUS," which means "I have reared a monument more enduring than Bronze."

The Bell
The bell used in the investiture ceremony is a symbol of the one permanently displayed in front of Bibb Graves Hall. The Bibb Graves bell was originally located at Hames Hall on the campus of the State Normal School where Jacksonville State University traces its roots.  In Fall 2008, a new tradition began when a freshman rang the bell at Freshman Convocation to symbolize the beginning of the college journey for that class. Today, Dr. Beehler will ring the bell to symbolize his beginning as president of Jacksonville State University. 

Can't Attend the Ceremony? How to View Online or On Television
The Investiture Ceremony will be streamed live on the Internet via the OVC Digital Network. Access the live stream here. It will also be televised on WEAC-TV24 (local Cable One channel 9).