News Special Guests, Public Events Help Hartwick Usher In Reisberg Era

October 18, 2022

This week, Hartwick College hosts a three-day celebration that includes a conversation with a former U.S. Hartwick College President Darren Reisbergpresidential advisor, an academic symposium addressing the country’s rural-urban divide, a reception, athletic contests, and special events in celebration of the installation of Darren Reisberg as its 11th president.

Inauguration festivities start Thursday, October 20, with a conversation featuring legendary political strategist David Axelrod. Axelrod is a preeminent American political strategist and commentator, and the former chief strategist and senior advisor to President Barack Obama. Axelrod currently serves as the founding director of the University of Chicago’s non-partisan Institute of Politics and as a senior political commentator for CNN. He is the host of The Axe Files, a top-rated podcast featuring in-depth conversations with public figures across the political spectrum. A former political writer for the Chicago Tribune, Axelrod produced media strategy and advertising for 150 campaigns across the U.S., culminating in President Obama’s historic elections. Axelrod is also the author of The New York Times best-selling memoir, Believer: My Forty Years in Politics.

After a few words about Reisberg, his former colleague from Chicago, Axelrod will sit down with Professor of Political Science Laurel Elder and have a conversation about the 2022 elections, polarization, and the need for hope in our democracy. The event takes place at 5 p.m. in Anderson Theatre, the Anderson Center for the Arts, on the College campus. A light reception will follow in Foreman Gallery at 6 p.m.

On Friday, October 21, the College will host an Academic Symposium titled “Bridging the U.S. Rural and Urban Divide: Hartwick College Takes On The Challenge.” A panel of Hartwick faculty, staff, and students will discuss the different life experiences the Hartwick Community – from both rural and urban settings – bring to campus, and how these experiences impact daily life and interactions. The panelists, representing a wide variety of perspectives, will examine the challenges and opportunities of living and working on our diverse campus. Given the well-documented urban–rural divide in the contemporary U.S., this panel will ask what the community can do to reach mutual understanding, respect, and unity. The symposium will be held at 11 a.m., also in Anderson Theatre.

The main event, The Inauguration of President Darren Reisberg, will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 22, under a tent on Frisbee Field in the heart of campus. An event of this magnitude has not been held in this location in many years, reviving a previous Hartwick tradition.

The ceremony combines a series of special guests and musical performances – including the debut of a commissioned work – meeting popular Hartwick traditions, including bookending appearances by the Broome County Celtic Pipes & Drums and the ringing of the Hartwick Bell. Hartwick students, alumni, faculty and staff will all be formally represented throughout the event. Delegates from 30 colleges and universities will also be in attendance.

Guest speakers include Oneonta Mayor Mark Drnek and SUNY Oneonta President Alberto J.F. Cardelle (who will be introduced by Pathy Leiva ’01, director of Access Opportunity Programs at SUNY Oneonta).

Daniel Diermeier, chancellor of Vanderbilt University; and Joseph Neubauer, former chair of the University of Chicago Board of Trustees and former CEO of Aramark Corporation, will also be making remarks.

Following the ceremony is The Big Blue Bash, featuring a barbecue lunch, raffles and giveaways, will be held at noon in the Commons and Stack Lounge in Dewar Union. All Inauguration attendees are welcome.

Guests are also invited to take in one of several athletics events taking place on Saturday. Men’s and women’s swimming and diving host a meet at 9 a.m. in Moyer Pool in the Binder Physical Education Facility. The football team takes on SUNY Brockport Golden Eagles at 1:30 p.m. at Wright Stadium, and women’s soccer hosts Nazareth College at 2 p.m. on Elmore Field.

Each day during Inauguration 2022, the Stevens-German Library will host a special archival exhibit featuring items from previous Hartwick inaugurations. The Yager Museum of Art & Culture will also welcome guests to view its new exhibition, Front Row Center: Icons of Rock, Blues, and Soul, featuring images taken by legendary concert photographer Larry Hulst. The Museum will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.

The main Inauguration 2022 events will be livestreamed via the website. Please visit the page the day of the events for the link and additional information. Questions can be directed to