Institutions of higher education use presidential inaugurations as an opportunity to formally welcome new leadership and to mark a new vision for the future of the institution, a news release from the college said.
During the ceremony, Holland, who was hired in April, said her vision for the college is to grow educational programs to meet both the needs of students and the community and to further develop the physical campus, and “in so doing, we hope to establish a true sense of place for our campus, a place where we build students professionally, personally and spiritually to be leaders and servants.”
The inauguration ceremony, which took place at St. Joseph Cathedral, was attended by students, friends and members of the college, and civic and health care leaders including Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, Mayor-President Kip Holden and Commissioner of Higher Education Joseph C. Rallo.
Earlier in the day, an inaugural Mass also was held at St. Joseph Cathedral. The Mass was officiated by the Rev. Robert W. Muench, bishop of the Diocese of Baton Rouge.
Established in 1923 by the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady, the college began as a school of nursing in conjunction with the establishment of Our Lady of the Lake Sanitarium in the Capitol Lake area of downtown Baton Rouge. The school transitioned to a degree-granting institution of higher education in 1989. By July 1995, the college was renamed Our Lady of the Lake College, earning full accreditation to offer associate degrees, the release said.
James W. Firnberg served as the college’s first president from 1993 to 1999. Under his leadership, the institution transitioned into an institution accredited to offer baccalaureate degrees. Michael Smith served as president from 1999 to 2006 and was followed by Sandra S. Harper, 2006 to 2013.
The college offers applied arts and science and clinical degrees. The 25 areas of study include arts and sciences, biology, clinical laboratory sciences, health sciences, liberal studies, nursing, nurse anesthesia, physical therapist assisting, physician assistant studies, radiologic technology and respiratory therapy.