Presidential Inauguration

Dr. Amy C. Novak


Come to the Table: Equipping inclusive, innovative, and invitational leaders for our future

Amy C. Novak, EdD, was inaugurated as the 14th President of St. Ambrose University on October 1.

The inauguration theme – Come to the Table: Equipping Inclusive, Innovative, and Invitational Leaders for Our Future – points to St. Ambrose University's long-standing commitment to the Catholic Intellectual Tradition as a foundation for seeking solutions to the social and interpersonal challenges of the 21st century.

Watch the Installation recording on YouTube

Download the Installation Ceremony program (pdf) – Includes delegates, music, processional members, and acknowledgements

14th President

amy novak at installation

Learn about Amy C. Novak, EdD, 14th President of St. Ambrose University

About Dr. Amy Novak


Oct. 1

Installation Ceremony

The Inauguration Installation Ceremony was held at the Galvin Fine Arts Center, Allaert Auditorium.

History of SAU

fighting bee

As we enter a new chapter for the University, reflecting on the past can give us context for the future.

History of SAU

Celebrating Our 14th President

A native of South Dakota, Dr. Novak most recently served as president at Dakota Wesleyan University for eight years during which the university experienced record enrollment, fundraising and retention. In addition, under Dr. Novak’s leadership, significant improvements were made to the campus infrastructure including five new facilities. Her efforts also expanded regional business partnerships, built innovative collaborations to deepen spiritual engagement and outreach, and the facilitated the creation and launch of new academic programs intentionally responding to the region’s labor force needs.

News Release: Novak Inaugurated as 14th President Inauguration Address

Installation Ceremony

Watch the recording of the Installation Ceremony of Amy C. Novak, 14th president of St. Ambrose University.

Watch the recording on YouTube

More Information

The Campus community is excited to welcome Dr. Amy Novak as our next president!

Our inauguration theme is "Come to the Table: Equipping Inclusive, Innovative, and Invitational Leaders for Our Future."

Schedule of Events

For Our Guests

Visitor Guide

Please visit the following pages and sections below for information on campus location, parking, and lodging, or download the Inauguration Visitor Guide (pdf).

Getting to Campus

Quad Cities Area Information

About the Quad Cities

Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce

Hotel Accommodations

The hotels below have reserved a set of rooms for Sept. 30-Oct. 3 at a discounted rate only for Inauguration guests. Use the corresponding links to access the special rate. The Cut-Off Date refers to the last day guests can reserve a room at the discounted rate.

Hotel Blackhawk
200 E. 3rd St.
Davenport, IA 52801

25 Room Block
Cut-off Date: September 9

Use this Hotel Blackhawk link to access the rate

975 Utica Ridge Place
Bettendorf, IA 52722

15 Room Block
Cut-off Date: September 9
Cancellation policy: 48 hours prior to arrival

Use this Home2Suites link to access the rate

Best Western Plus Steeplegate Inn
100 W. 76th St.
Davenport, IA 52806

12 Room Block
Cut-off Date: September 10

Use this Steeplegate link to access the rate

Parking and Event Locations (Map)

Parking is available in the Rogalski Center parking lot.

Inauguration events will take place in the Rogalski Center, Galvin Fine Arts Center, and Christ the King Chapel; the map below shows their locations on campus.

Download the Event Map for more details and highlighted event locations (jpg)

Insignias of the University

University Mace

University Mace
For centuries, the mace has served as the most sacred symbol of the presidential office. In 12th century Rome, the mace would have doubled as a club carried by a bodyguard, whose job it was to protect the clergy. According to Canon law, priests were forbidden from shedding blood, so maces were used, since only blunt objects could serve as weapons. Made of wood, metal, or gems, the mace of today functions simply as a symbol of authority.

The St. Ambrose mace was crafted in the early 1980s by John Morrissey Sr., superintendent of buildings and grounds for 42 years. Morrissey was a woodcarver and made the mace from Brazilian rosewood. It is inset with slate carvings of a cross, a chalice and host, an oak leaf and an acorn, and the university seal.

Although the first St. Ambrose president to use the mace was William Bakrow, Morrissey carried it first – at President Bakrow's insistence – during the 1984 spring commencement ceremony.

In a regular ceremony of the university, the mace is carried either directly behind or in front of the president as part of the processional. At Dr. Novak's installation ceremony, the mace leads the processional. During the recessional, it is carried in front of the new president.


The processional – first used at the Olympic games in ancient Greece – is the grand march into a formal ceremony that usually begins at the back of the seating area and ends near the front of the stage or dais.

The academic processional at an inauguration ceremony differs from commencement in that delegates from other colleges and representatives of academic societies are invited to march along with an institution's own faculty and staff.

Marshals usually will lead each division of the university and seat representatives in their appropriate order. Academic institutions and societies process in order of the year their institutions were founded.

Presidential Medallion

The Presidential Medallion
The first St. Ambrose presidential medallion was worn by President William Bakrow (1973-1987) and followed a trend in higher education of university presidents wearing such symbols of their office.

Today, the president wears the medallion as part of his or her academic regalia. Dr. Novak will be invested with the medallion of St. Ambrose University at the moment of her installation.

Academic Regalia

Academic Regalia
In the cold castles of the Middle Ages, academics wore hoods and long robes to keep warm as they taught their students in the liberal arts.

Today, that tradition continues to have a symbolic role for those in academia. Their robes signify academic accomplishments – elongated sleeves for a master's degree and three velvet-striped sleeves for doctorates – as well as their position among the ranks of their colleagues.

In keeping with guidelines first established in the 1800s by the American Council on Education, university faculty and staff wear garb with colors and decorations that correspond to their field of study, while the presence and length of hoods are determined by one's degree. At four feet, doctoral hoods are the longest.

Robes, hoods, and caps are always worn at higher education institutions' matriculation and baccalaureate ceremonies. Cords draped around the neck representing academic or other honors may accompany a graduating student's regalia.

Due to the infrequency of such an event, an inauguration has its own special protocols for incorporating academic regalia into the ceremony. Often a university president will wear the robes of his or her alma mater.

So, what's next?

Are you ready to take the next step? Click on the visit button below to learn more about our virtual and in-person visit options.