Earlier this month, the Rhode Island School of Design inaugurated computer scientist, artist, author, designer, and overall shape shifter John Maeda as its 16th president in a streamlined swearing-in ceremony that The Providence Journal described as “notable both for its brevity—the entire event lasted less than two hours—and for its roster of A-list guest speakers.” Those speakers included Congressmen, the mayor of Providence, keynote speaker Nicholas Negroponte of MIT, and Brown University President Ruth Simmons, who alluded to Maeda’s fondness for casualwear, quipping, “We’re all wondering what you’ll wear to your first meeting with your fellow college presidents.” The ProJo also commented on the “Maeda-esque touches” to the inauguration festivities:
During the ceremony, dozens of cloth banners—some printed with the phrase “Start Here,” others decorated with drawings and paintings—hung from the church’s second-story balcony. Organizers said the banners were meant to evoke both ship’s sails, a reference to Providence’s maritime past, and Tibetan prayer flags, a symbol of good luck.
Read a still-growing stream of messages posted to Maeda’s “Start Here” inauguration website and add one of your own here.
Previously on UnBeige: