Dr. Kyle Marrero was officially conferred the duties and responsibilities of president of Georgia Southern University during an investiture ceremony Friday inside Hanner Fieldhouse. Marrero took office as Georgia Southern’s 14th president on April 1.
“We are here today to share in the time-honored tradition to invest a new president of Georgia Southern University,” said Chancellor Steve W. Wrigley, Ph.D., University System of Georgia to the crowd. “It is an awesome responsibility, yet, leading a public university today is also a complex responsibility. It is a shared responsibility for the benefit of students, community and the state under the governing authority of the Board of Regents. This day is important because public higher education plays a critical role in our society.
“I believe Dr. Marrero is the right person at this time in the history of Georgia Southern University, and I’m excited about the future.”
After being formally vested by the chancellor, Marrero stepped to the podium.
“I am honored by your charge and trust in me and indebted by all those who have this institution what it is today,” Marrero said. “The last six-and-a-half months have been a wonderful journey learning about this great university. I continue to be amazed at the quality of people, the communities, the sheer breadth of what Georgia Southern has to offer and the future potential for us all.”
This is a critical time for the institution as it defines its new path and regional presence post-consolidation, Marrero said, and cited the importance of the university’s Strategic Plan and its five structural pillars: student success, teaching and research, inclusive excellence, operational efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability, and community engagement.
It is also important to invest in people, he said.
“We are investing in our people — our faculty, our staff, our students, our community – with a purpose to transforms lives,” Marrero said. “We will remain relevant and aligned with the needs of the community, the region, the state and beyond. We will continue to hold dear to the commitment of understanding the human condition and a better understanding of our place in the world. To be relevant, we must prepare our students as global citizens.”
In an emotional tribute to his mother, Marrero shared:
“People often ask me, why are you always smiling, Kyle? What are you so happy about? It’s because I’m trying every day to joyfully and enthusiastically impact others and lift them up just like my mom.
“I am so proud and honored to be your president. We have the power to impact others. Join me in bringing our aspirational vision and statement to life. People, purpose, action. Growing ourselves to grow others.”
Previously, Marrero was president of the University of West Georgia. Under his guidance since 2013, the university built a culture of high performance and data-informed decision-making by focusing on a new strategic plan (2014-2020) and assessment methodology aligned with UWG’s new strategic imperatives: Student Success, Academic Success, Partnership Success and Operational Success.
Prior to his appointment at West Georgia, Marrero served as vice president for university advancement at the University of West Florida, overseeing the university’s integrated marketing communications efforts, fundraising, development and alumni relations’ activities. His background in the arts has taken him to 10 foreign countries as an artistic ambassador for the United States Embassies and 40 states as a singer and stage director. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in vocal performance from Bowling Green State University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan.