Jeffrey S. Vitter, chancellor of the University of Mississipp
Jeffrey S. Vitter, chancellor of the University of Mississippi Credit: Rogelio V. Solis, AP

Dr. Jeffrey S. Vitter will be inaugurated Thursday as the University of Mississippi’s 17th chancellor.

The investiture ceremony, which formally installs Vitter as the university’s highest-ranking official, begins at 3 p.m. in the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts on campus. Following the ceremony at 4:30 p.m., a reception for the chancellor will be held in The Grove.

Vitter, who succeeded Dr. Dan Jones, was appointed unanimously by the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning on Oct. 29, 2015, and took office Jan. 1, 2016.

Before arriving at Ole Miss, Vitter served as provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of Kansas. Prior to taking that post in 2010, he served as provost and executive vice president for academics at Texas A&M University in College Station.

A native of New Orleans, Vitter graduated in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame in 1977 and earned his Ph.D. in computer science at Stanford University in 1980. He also holds an MBA from Duke University.

In the months preceding Thursday’s celebration, the university has organized and sponsored a variety of events dealing with the inauguration’s theme:  “The Power of Higher Education to Transform Lives, Communities and World.”

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Ashley F. G. Norwood, a native of Jackson, earned a bachelor's degree in English from Jackson State University and a master’s degree from the Meek School of Journalism at the University of Mississippi. Norwood, who specializes in multimedia journalism, has been recognized nationally for her documentary film the fly in the buttermilk, which covers the history, perceptions and principles of black Greek-lettered organizations at the University of Mississippi.