Inauguration Frequently Asked Questions

UMBC university seal


The Inauguration of
Valerie Sheares Ashby


The entire UMBC community is invited to celebrate the Inauguration of President Valerie Sheares Ashby. UMBC will host inauguration events across main campus beginning April 21 and including our installation ceremony at 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 27, in the Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena on UMBC’s main campus.

What is the purpose of an inauguration?

A presidential inauguration is a historic occasion in the life of a university and an opportunity to reflect on its shared mission and values. A longstanding tradition throughout academia, it is the formal induction of a new leader and a celebration of the new president’s installation. At UMBC’s installation ceremony, the University System of Maryland formally endows the president with the powers of the office.

Why is inauguration happening now?

Valerie Sheares Ashby began as president of UMBC on August 1, 2022. It is typical for a university inauguration to happen several months, or up to a year, after a presidential appointment to give the campus community time to get to know the new president and to plan the celebrations.

Who should attend?

All UMBC community members are welcome to attend inauguration events. The installation ceremony is open to both our on-campus and off-campus community including all students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends, partners, families, and neighbors. Tickets are required but free; you can reserve your ticket here. The full schedule of events will be posted here.

Are students welcome?

Yes! We hope that both undergraduate and graduate students will join us for this momentous occasion. We will officially kick off the week’s events on Friday, April 21, by celebrating President Sheares Ashby at Quadmania, the annual spring festival hosted by the Student Events Board (seb). You should also reserve your ticket for the installation ceremony. If you are unable to attend the ceremony, you can still join us for the celebration on the Quad following the ceremony, beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Who should march in the installation ceremony procession? (Hint: UMBC faculty, university delegates, and faculty visiting from other universities)

Individuals who regularly march for convo­cation and commencement are invited to wear full academic regalia and march in the procession at the installation ceremony. This includes UMBC faculty and administrators. University delegates and faculty visiting from other universities are also invited to march in the procession. UMBC community members can RSVP and order regalia here. Off-campus guests, please email us at to let us know if you are attending as a delegate of your university and with any questions about regalia.

The installation ceremony begins at 1 p.m. Please arrive by 12 p.m. for check-in and processional line-up. When you arrive at the front of the arena, please enter through the door on the very right. You will be directed to the robing room. Please bring your regalia; there will be a space for you to robe after you arrive. We recommend that you do not carry personal items during the processional and ceremony. There will be a coat check area to store personal belongings.

Where can I meet President Sheares Ashby?

We are planning a week-long series of events to celebrate our inauguration. A full schedule will be available soon on this page.

What do I need to know if I am attending from out of town?

UMBC is located only a few miles from the Baltimore Washington International (BWI) Airport and the accompanying Amtrak train station. You can review directions around campus on this page.

A courtesy room block has been arranged with the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel (202 E. Pratt Street) at the discounted room rate of $209 plus taxes and fees. Please use the following booking link: or call reservations at 1-877-212-5752 and identify yourselves as part of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County group. Please book your room by Sunday, March 26, after which the discounted rate will be based on room availability. Additional hotels with special UMBC visitor rates can be found here.

Where should I park?

Parking will be available at Chesapeake Employers Insurance Arena Lot on UMBC’s main campus. Guests should follow posted directional signage. Directions can be found here.

Is the ceremony accessible?

UMBC has a variety of accessibility options for persons with disabilities who will be attending the installation ceremony, including: accessible parking and transportation, stair-free and wheelchair-accessible seating, and ASL Interpreters/Captioning. Please email us at with any questions or concerns.

If I cannot attend in person, is there another way to participate?

The installation ceremony will be livestreamed at and on UMBC’s YouTube channel. If you wish to send greetings to President Sheares Ashby, you may do so at or by mail at The Office of the UMBC President, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250.