KOKOMO, Ind. — Cougar spirit takes center stage Thursday, as Indiana University Kokomo continues its celebration of Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke’s installation.
The festivities moved to the Cougar Gym for a tailgate, followed by a volleyball games against conference rival IU East. Students, faculty, staff, and fans braved chilly temperatures to cheer with the IU Kokomo cheerleaders, sing the fight song with the Crescendos show choir, and clap along to a performance by the Kokomo High School drumline.
Sciame-Giesecke welcomed the crowd, thanking them for being part of her celebration. She noted she is the seventh chancellor, being installed as IU Kokomo prepares to commemorate its 70th anniversary, and she came to campus in 1977.
“I’m playing the sevens, and I think they are lucky,” she said.
She also introduced her special guest, former chancellor Ruth Person, who recently retired as chancellor at University of Michigan—Flint.
“She was a great mentor to me,” Sciame-Giesecke said. “She really set a lot of the foundation for where we are today.”
Senior Steve Vas, director of the Student Athletic and Wellness Board, said it was appropriate to include athletics in the installation celebration, because Sciame-Giesecke worked to bring those programs to campus, and was instrumental in acquiring the Cougar Gym.
“The chancellor has really done a lot to expand the athletic opportunities available on campus, from opening the Cole Fitness Center to adding more teams,” Vas, from Kokomo, said. “We now have a women’s basketball team starting this year, men’s and women’s golf teams next year, and a lot more intramural sports available to all students.”
Jessie Dillard, a senior from Kokomo, attended the tailgate to show her support for the chancellor. She had previously been a student about 10 years ago, and is excited by how much the campus has grown.
“We’ve really come a long way,” she said. “We didn’t have sports when I was here before this. It gives you a way to get involved, and show your school spirit. This is a great way to celebrate our chancellor and her installation.”
For Deja Felder, a freshman from Goshen, the tailgate represents part of the college life experience.
“It’s important to be part of the community, to adjust to being away from home,” she said.
Cheerleader Maggie Goff was happy to play a part in installation week activities.
“Everyone knows Chancellor Sciame-Giesecke, and we want to celebrate her important week with her,” she said.
Installation week activities culminate with a ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Friday, September 12, in Havens Auditorium. The public is invited to attend.
For information about the game and all IU Kokomo athletics, visit iukcougars.com.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.