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Salem State University President John D. Keenan will be inaugurated as the university’s 14th president on January 19, 2018. The ceremony and reception to follow are open to the public at no cost but tickets must be reserved at this link.  Space is limited. Questions should be directed to 978.542.2293 or

In addition to President Keenan’s inaugural address, various statewide higher education leaders and members of the Salem State community will take part in the ceremony by offering remarks, reading original poetry, and engaging in inaugural traditions. The ceremony will be held at 2 pm in Salem State University’s O’Keefe Center, Twohig Gymnasium, at 225 Canal Street in Salem. 


The speaking platform for the January 19 Presidential Inauguration will include:

Welcome: Salem State University Board of Trustees Chair Paul Mattera

Governor’s Address: Charlie Baker, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Greetings: Joan Lovely ’06, Massachusetts State Senator, Second Essex District; Paul Tucker ’87, Massachusetts State Representative, Seventh Essex District; Kimberley Driscoll ’89, Mayor of the City of Salem, Mary DeSimone ’76, Alumni trustee and Alumni Association Board of Directors Member; Professor James Gubbins, Massachusetts State College Association Salem Chapter President; Joshua Lane, Student Government Association President

Poetry Readings: January Gill O’Neil, Professor; Edwin J. Calderon ’18, Student

Inaugural Address: John D. Keenan, President


In addition to the speaking platform, members of the Salem State and Massachusetts higher education communities – including Massachusetts Commissioner of Higher Education Carlos E. Santiago and President Emerita Patricia Maguire Meservey – will take part in the ceremony.

Mr. Keenan began his role as the 14th president of Salem State University on August 6, 2017. Prior to being named president, he served as the university’s general counsel and vice president for administration, responsible for the departments of human resources and equal opportunity, capital planning and facilities, information technology, risk and asset management, university police, and legal. Mr. Keenan’s full biography can be read here.