Before a crowd of thousands on an unusually warm October day, Neeli Bendapudi was officially installed as the 18th president of the university as the Presidential Medal was placed around her neck.

In Bendapudi’s short time on campus she has re-energized the Cardinal community, and her inauguration was not only a celebration but also a reminder that the university’s best days are ahead.

“In the shadow of The Thinker, I want you to think with me big bold thoughts, daring to imagine what would happen if we were to succeed,” she urged the crowd.

Bendapudi said she envisions a university where all students know they can count on a whole set of mentors deeply invested in their success; where every staff member knows there are opportunities for professional development and lifelong learning; where every faculty member can count on excellence among colleagues in the teaching, research and service missions of the university; that attracts talent from all corners of the globe; and that is a partner in the life of the city and of the state.

“These are the thoughts, these are the possibilities, that excite me and keep me motivated to do more for this amazing university,” she said. “With your help, we can move these thoughts to actions and these possibilities to realities.”

“The pursuit of excellence is our reward. It is the journey that matters.”

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Erica Walsh
Erica Walsh is the senior marketing manager in the Office of Communications and Marketing where she manages the UofL Magazine and the President’s Report and contributes to the university’s branding and advertising efforts. Walsh joined UofL in 2014 after previously serving as the public relations specialist at Indiana University Southeast for seven years. Prior to her career in higher education communications, she was a reporter at The News-Enterprise in Elizabethtown, Ky.