Dr. Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. was installed as The University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s 11th chancellor today in a ceremony held in UNCG Auditorium.

“Frank knows we’re still building for the next generation, and he recognizes the joy and the honor in that task – the sheer excitement of what we get to do each day in higher education,” said UNC System President Margaret Spellings. “His leadership gives me enormous hope for what we can accomplish together, and I’m proud to welcome Dr. Gilliam to this university.”

The ceremony began with greetings from Susan Safran, former chair of the UNCG Board of Trustees and chair of the Chancellor’s Search Committee, and Professor of Music Dr. Dennis AsKew, chairman of the Chancellor’s Installation Committee. The investiture was led by Margaret Spellings, president of The University of North Carolina system, who was joined by Louis Bissette, chairman of the UNC Board of Governors, and Brad Hayes, chairman of the UNCG Board of Trustees. Henry Frye, retired chief justice of the Supreme Court of North Carolina, administered the Oath of Office.

Dr. Robert K. Ross, president and CEO of The California Endowment and a long-time friend and colleague of Gilliam, delivered the keynote address, highlighting Gilliam’s work in the area of community engagement. In his investiture response, Gilliam noted that access and opportunity have been a part of UNCG’s heritage since its earliest days as a college for women.

“There were very few educational opportunities for women. [Founding President] McIver took a giant step.”

Gilliam spent much of his address looking not at the past, but toward the future.

“The future is bright,” he said. “Together, we can shape our shared fate. Together, we can take giant steps.”

Gilliam, who took office in September 2015, follows a long line of outstanding leaders since the university’s inception in 1891, including Dr. Charles Duncan McIver, Dr. Julius I. Foust, Dr. Walter Clinton Jackson, Dr. Edward Kidder Graham Jr., Dr. Gordon W. Blackwell, Dr. Otis A. Singletary, Dr. James S. Ferguson, Dr. William E. Moran, Dr. Patricia A. Sullivan and Dr. Linda P. Brady.

Gilliam’s career in higher education spans three decades. He served at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as a long-standing faculty member in political science, and most recently, served as dean of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs for seven years. Just prior to assuming the deanship, Gilliam served as the inaugural associate vice chancellor of community partnerships for the University of California system for six years. Gilliam began his career at the University of Wisconsin.

Author of “Farther to Go: Readings and Cases in African-American Politics,” Gilliam is known as a champion for civic engagement. He was honored with the 2015 Upton Sinclair Award by the Liberty Hill Foundation for his renowned work advancing civic engagement and commitment to issues of equity. Twice nominated for UCLA’s Luckman Distinguished Teaching Award, Gilliam also taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Grinnell College, and the University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and was a Visiting Scholar at Brandeis University. In addition, he taught at Columbia University, Fisk University and — with former Vice President Al Gore — at Middle Tennessee State University.

Gilliam received his bachelor’s degree from Drake University and his master’s and doctoral degrees in political science from the University of Iowa. Chancellor Gilliam and his wife, Jacquelean, are parents to daughter, Ariel and son, Trey.