Dr. Tony G. Waldrop Inaugurated as USA's Third President

Posted on September 12, 2014
Jeb Schrenk

View photos from the Inauguration Ceremony. 


Dr. Tony G. Waldrop was welcomed by faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends today as he was inaugurated as the University of South Alabama’s third president at a ceremony at the USA Mitchell Center.

Waldrop used the opportunity to outline a vision based on priorities identified with input from University and community leaders. He said the growing university would focus on:

  • Access to higher education and pathways to graduation
  • Graduate education and research and scholarly activity
  • Greater cultural understanding and global collaboration
  • Excellence in health care
  • Community engagement for faculty, staff and students

“Success in these five priorities will provide the pathway for meeting our vision, which is: The University of South Alabama will be a leading comprehensive public university internationally recognized for educational, research, and health care excellence as well as for its positive intellectual, cultural and economic impact on those it serves,” Waldrop said.

The core of Waldrop’s address focused on five priorities for the next several years. Each included strategies for success and measures for accountability. The full address and a video of the ceremony can be viewed on the inauguration website.

“We know that the future is bright for South since faculty, staff, students and the community are proud of the University and want to make it even better,” Waldrop said. “I am absolutely delighted to be part of the enthusiasm and the commitment that exists. Not only have people been welcoming, but they have also been sincere in their support of and dedication to this University.”

Dr. Steve Furr, chair pro tempore of the USA Board of Trustees, introduced Waldrop and presided over the ceremony.

Today’s ceremony included a proclamation from Gov. Robert Bentley read by USA Trustee and alumnus Ken Simon. Other speakers included U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne; USA Trustee and Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson; Mobile County Commission President Connie Hudson; Dr. Julie Estis, president of the University’s Faculty Senate; Michael Diehl, president of the USA National Alumni Association; and Danielle Watson, president of the USA Student Government Association.

Ensembles from the USA Department of Music provided selections, and the Presentation of Colors was performed by the USA ROTC Color Guard.

Waldrop was unanimously chosen by the Board of Trustees Feb. 6 and arrived at USA in April from the University of Central Florida, where he served as provost and executive vice president. He has more than 30 years of experience in higher education, as a researcher, teacher and administrator.

The University of South Alabama annually enrolls more than 16,000 students and has awarded more than 78,000 degrees in its 51-year history. USA is also an economic driver for the central Gulf Coast, with an annual economic impact exceeding $3 billion.

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