Congratulations, President Watkins

The University of Utah celebrates the inauguration of its 16th president this week, on Friday, Sept. 21, at 3 p.m. in Kingsbury Hall. All are invited to attend the free event. Because seating is limited, it is recommended that guests arrive early. In the event the venue reaches capacity, overflow seating will be available in Gardner Hall, which is next door to Kingsbury Hall.

Friday, Sept. 21, 2018 | 3 p.m. | Line forms at 2 p.m. and doors open at 2:30 p.m.
Kingsbury Hall, 1395 Presidents Circle Salt Lake City

For a list of events surrounding inauguration, click here.

The program is available here and to read more, click here.

In honor of this historic event, several members of the campus community shared their well-wishes to President Watkins:

The College of Law community looks forward to working with President Watkins in her new role. We’re confident she will do the job justice.

—Robert W. Adler, dean of the S.J. Quinney College of Law

Congratulations on your inauguration as the 16th president of the University of Utah! The traditions of this great institution and its future are in excellent hands under your leadership. From educating the next generation, to groundbreaking research, to advancing health, and beyond, we are poised to continue to charge forward to make a difference. It is clear that your commitment to the University is personal – just one example from seeing you in action is that you are on a first name basis with an extraordinary number of your colleagues and students at the U! Your personal approach is well-aligned with the culture of Huntsman Cancer Institute, where we are committed to compassionate care for every person affected by cancer. Here’s to our continued work together to move ever faster to eradicate cancer from the face of the earth.

—Mary Beckerle, Ph.D., CEO of Huntsman Cancer Institute


President Watkins, very best wishes for knocking down those silos so that across campus we can together provide solutions to the grand challenges of our time. Our students and faculty are here to support you in our quest of the One University for Utah. All the best.

—Cynthia Berg, dean of the College of Social & Behavioral Science

Ruth: It’s been a golden era for those of us who work with undergraduates under your leadership. Your commitment to students spread through the institution like a summer fire and inspired all of us to focus on new ways on student success. We are so happy that you are now president, “our president,” a model of authenticity, warmth, dedication and hard work. You have a huge fan club in Undergraduate Studies and the Honors College!

—Marti Bradley, associate vice president of Academic Affairs, dean of Undergraduate Studies, acting dean of the Honors College

The College of Engineering extends a warm welcome to you in your new role as president of the University of Utah. We look forward to helping you accomplish the vision of One University for Utah!

—Richard B. Brown, dean of the College of Engineering

Ruth: Congratulations and best of luck as our new leader! When it was first announced that you were going to be our next president, there was, quite literally, an audible sound of cheering across campus. In the short time I’ve been here I’ve admired your positive leadership and ability to create an adhocracy by always taking the high road. Paraphrasing a line that I read somewhere . . . being a university president is not just a job, it’s a transition. As you lead us through many coming transitions, please know that your personal transitions are best handled by just being yourself. Have fun with it!

—Daryl Butt, dean of the College of Mines & Earth Sciences

Dear Ruth, We welcome the path that you will carve for our future—a path that engages and encourages our students, faculty and staff, alumni, friends, and partners alike to work and grow together. The College of Education is honored to walk with you on this journey as you lead us to expand and enrich the lives of students through education, exploration and experiences here at the University of Utah. Our lives will be transformed because we make this journey together. So thank you for your willingness to serve and congratulations, President Watkins!

—Elaine Clark, dean of the College of Education

Dear President Watkins, before you lies an open book filled with blank pages on which you will inscribe your vision for the future of the University of Utah—a story that is sure to be written in grand style, filled with adventure, innovation, deep inquiry and ambitious reach. We at the Marriott Library will be delighted to support you in realizing your vision and are excited to see this story unfold—we know it will be a page-turner. Congratulations!

—Alberta Comer, dean and university librarian of the  J. Willard Marriott Library

From all of our team at the hospitals and clinics, we are excited to have Ruth Watkins at the helm. We have already felt the energy behind her leadership and the sensitivity she has for each and every person. She has visited our teams at work where she was able to witness first-hand the energy and pride we feel in being a part of the “University For Utah.” Congratulations on your inauguration, and speaking both individually and collectively, we all look forward to serving with you and for you. Enjoy this momentous time!

—Gordon Crabtree, CPA, MBA, Chief Executive Officer of University of Utah Health, Hospital and Clinics

Congratulations, Ruth. The College of Humanities is excited to be embarking with you on a new era in which the U will continue its growth as a diverse, innovative and engaged flagship campus. We are proud that our leader on this journey comes from our college’s faculty.

—Stuart Culver, dean of the College of Humanities

The Natural History Museum of Utah is thrilled to welcome you as the University of Utah’s 16th President! You advanced the university tremendously in your five years as the senior vice president and we look forward to the new heights we will achieve together as the University for Utah!
—Sarah George, director of the Natural History Museum of Utah

President Watkins, I am fortunate to be joining your leadership team at this important time in the history of our great university. It is a privilege to be working side-by-side with such dedicated, mission-driven people, like you, who value and promote collaboration and excellence at all levels. Your vision for our boundless potential as one integrated campus is extremely exciting and makes me look forward to coming into work every morning. I enthusiastically add my energy to help us achieve the high expectations that the people of Utah have for their flagship university, which you correctly remind us, truly is “the University for Utah.” And I share your belief that the U is uniquely positioned to transform the challenging health and higher education issues affecting all Americans. I wish you well as you continue on your leadership journey. The inspirational example you are setting as a leader is already igniting a powerful, positive energy within our faculty, our students, and, most of all, our community. I am honored and privileged to join you on this journey.

—Michael Good, MD, CEO, University of Utah Health, dean of the School of Medicine, SVP of Health Sciences

President Watkins, having you as our captain is a win for the University of Utah. When I first met you in my job interview, I was immediately impressed with your competitiveness, drive and leadership qualities. You are also a heck of a recruiter! We look forward to achieving new heights in the Pac-12 with you leading our team.

—Mark Harlan, director of Athletics

President Watkins, you are precisely the right person, in the right place, at the right time. Your background, skills, capabilities and temperament are superbly suited to the task at hand. You also have the full confidence of those around you. With you in the lead, we will together take the University of Utah to the next level of excellence. The students, staff and faculty of this great institution are extremely fortunate to have you with us. I join many others in wishing you all good things, and much personal satisfaction, as you guide the university forward into an even greater future.

—Rory Hume, dean of the School of Dentistry and associate vice president of University of Utah Health

The faculty, staff and students of The Graduate School are excited to welcome you in your new position as president of the University of Utah. You have been a tireless advocate of the economic and societal benefits of graduate and profession education. We strongly support your vision of increasing access to world-class graduate education to all members of our community.

—Dave Kieda, dean of The Graduate School

President Ruth: Our own Notorious RVW! How awesome is that? It has been an amazing privilege for me to work with someone so thoughtful and visionary while also being so caring. I cannot wait to see the new heights to which you will lead the U. Onward together!

—Keith Diaz Moore, Ph.D., AIA, WELL AP, dean of the College of Architecture + Planning

Dr. Watkins, I am very grateful to have you at the helm of our exceptional institution and I am confident your presidency will be filled with resounding successes. It is with deep and enduring respect that I say I can’t imagine anyone more qualified to lead our faculty, our administration and our students by example. Please accept my best wishes and heartfelt congratulations on your inauguration.

—Randall J Olson, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences and CEO of John A. Moran Eye Center

The College of Health welcomes you as the U’s 16th president! As you discovered on the “Ruth 66 University for Utah Road Tour” of southeastern Utah’s stunning parks with Dr. Kelly Bricker, director of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, our college not only lives in both worlds of the U—Health Sciences and the Main Campus—but across Utah. We stand ready to wholeheartedly support your goal of One University. By the way, any one of us would welcome an opportunity to join you on your next trip. We could call it “Healthy Parks, Healthy People: Ruth 66.2.”

—David Perrin, dean of the College of Health

President Watkins, congratulations on becoming the 16th president of the University of Utah!  We are so proud to have you leading us. With your visionary thinking and inspirational leadership, we know you’ll lead the university to new heights in discovery, education and global impact. Your positive influence has already been felt, especially through your calls to unify our efforts and elevate our ambitions. On behalf of the students, staff and faculty of the College of Pharmacy, I wish you every success as you begin your presidency.

—Randy Peterson, dean of the College of Pharmacy

A wise person once said, “A leader is the person who brings a little magic to the moment.” President Watkins, we are looking forward to your magic.

—Taylor Randall, dean of the David Eccles School of Business

Madame President, as the curtain opens on your second act here at the University of Utah, this time in the leading role, I hope you know we are both your crew and your audience—supporting you line by line and cheering you on along the way. Break a leg!

—John W. Scheib, associate vice president for the arts, dean of the College of Fine Arts

If you mix Madonna with Meryl Streep, putting aside the costumes of the one, shedding the European accents of the other, keeping the brio of Mama Mia wed to Streep’s obvious intellect . . .  If you mix Oprah with Walter Cronkite, combining their charm and world-class trust, adding a dash of rocker Bonnie Raitt . . . You have Ruth Watkins. Her generosity and Presidential-osity grace her position as our new leader. We are in highly intelligent hands. Take it to the limit, President Watkins!

—Kathryn Bond Stockton, dean of the School for Cultural and Social Transformation

Dear President Watkins, thanks for your dedication, energy and the renewed excitement that you bring as our leader. What an exciting time it is to be at the U! Your wisdom and vision will serve the university well in moving its mission forward into the 21st century. I am proud to be part of your team and I look forward to service under your leadership.

—Martell Teasley, dean of the College of Social Work

The College of Science congratulates you in your new position. Knowing of your passion for students and dedication to faculty, we are confident that under your leadership the University of Utah will truly be One University for Utah.

—Henry White, dean of the College of Science

Welcome, Dr. Watkins, as our 16th and first woman president. From one lifesaver to another (registered nurse to Elkader City pool lifeguard), you and your team are already uniting the University of Utah campus by jumping into the water to swim alongside students, faculty, staff and our community. The College of Nursing team stands ready to collaborate, innovate, and help you in your endeavors to keep the University of Utah an inspiring place to study, work and live well.
—Barbara Wilson, interim dean of the College of Nursing