The Chancellor and Board of Governors of Yukon University are pleased to announce the installation of Dr. Lesley Brown as the eighth president and vice-chancellor of Yukon University.
Friday, May 13, 10:30 Yukon Standard Time
President Installation Program
Universities are steeped in tradition and ceremony. The Presidential Installation event is one such ceremony and it includes many traditions of university culture, such as: wearing academic regalia; procession of academic dignitaries; official greetings; bestowing the ceremonial robe of office; the presence of representatives from various constituencies (other universities, staff, students, alumni, etc.); passing of a symbolic artifact such as a chain of office, mace or charter; and ceremonial music.
The installation of Dr. Lesley Brown will be the first installation ceremony for Yukon University, as we have recently transitioned to university status from a near sixty-year history as a technical institute (1963-1987) and then a college (1988-2020).
Yukon University will uphold many university traditions in this, our first installation ceremony, but we also take great pride to recognize our unique northern location and identity and to honour the first peoples of the Yukon – Yukon First Nations. And so, we expect this inaugural event to reflect a unique celebration event for Yukon University and for the territory of the Yukon.
The installation ceremony is the public acknowledgement of a new president at the University. It’s a ceremony led by the University’s Board of Governors. The ceremony provides an opportunity for the incoming president to make a commitment to the people they serve and share with the region, their vision for the future. It’s a public declaration of the president's intent to fulfil and uphold the duties and responsibilities of this position.
In this ceremony, the Commissioner, The Honourable Angélique Bernard, will lead the president’s installation.
The mace symbolizes the University’s governing authority and it is displayed at ceremonial events. It signifies that the proceedings have official sanction. The tradition of the academic mace derives from medieval England, when the mace was held by a bodyguard for dignitaries at ceremonial functions.
Yukon University has adopted a ceremonial antler in place of a mace. The thirteen carved areas represent our thirteen campuses. The tines represent the flow of students, research and knowledge in and out of the institution.
The space between carvings represent knowledge yet to be discovered, awaiting only curiosity and a little
hard work. The caribou are an important symbol in many Yukon communities. The herd is both resilient and fragile. If the leaders are disturbed, the caribou behind will stray from the traditional migration route, even heading back to where they started. As the herd arrives, people are cautioned to “Let the Leaders Pass”. Held high in procession, the Ceremonial Antler conjures a majestic caribou leading its herd.
Yukon University’s Ceremonial Antler was carved by Shane Wilson from a naturally-dropped rack and donated to Yukon University by Jacqueline Bedard. Thank you to Lucy-Anne Kay, from Fort McPherson, NWT, for sharing her cultural story and developing the vision behind the Ceremonial Antler.
The Yukon University Chancellor’s Chain of Office was carved by Fred Edzera and is worn here by Chancellor Jamena James Allen.
The pendant (called a tina and pronounced teena) on the shield was common with the West Coast First Nations. The larger the shield or tina, the more important the person.
The eagle feather represents a symbol of strength and wisdom. The eagle also carries prayers to the creator.