Inauguration Celebration to Include Actress Jane Alexander

Inaugural Ceremony: May 5, 1:30 p.m., Cassel Open Air Theatre, 1014 Boswell Ave., Crete

An Oscar nominee and Tony Award winner.

A president on horseback.

College and university delegates among the audience.

All will come together on Doane's Crete campus in May to celebrate the inauguration of President Jacque Carter, Ph.D.

It is only the 12th time that Doane has inaugurated a president in its 140-year history. The celebration spans May 3-5 and includes an academic symposium and a "Doane Past and Present" event, highlighted by Dr. Carter on horseback, a nod to Doane's first president, David Brainerd Perry, who used to tie his horse to a hitching post that is still featured on campus.

jane alexander, actressFour-time Oscar nominee and Tony Award winner Jane Alexander will be a guest speaker in the inaugural ceremony, which begins at 1:30 p.m. May 5 in Cassel Theatre. Many audience members will recognize her as Eleanor Backman from The Great White Hope, as bookkeeper Judy Hoback in All The President's Men, as neighbor Margaret Phelps in Kramer vs. Kramer, as wife, Carol in Testament, or Nurse Edna, offering a prayer at St. Cloud's Orphanage in The Cider House Rules. Her four-decade career includes more than 55 screen roles, 100 plays (four of them Tony-winning and Tony-nominated roles) - and success as an author, screenwriter, narrator and producer.

She has used her time in the spotlight as an advocate and leader. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed her chair of the National Endowment for the Arts. She led the organization for the next four years, successfully battling to save it from elimination.

About 100 theatre students will have the opportunity to learn from Alexander as she is interviewed during an "Inside the Actor's Studio" event on Friday, May 4, from 1-2 in Whitcomb Lee Conservatory.

Her long history as a wildlife conservation advocate led to a friendship with Dr. Carter and her selection as speaker. "I asked her to do this because her background of interest and accomplishment dovetails the strengths and aspirations of Doane. Her life is a mix of art and science, much like the liberal arts," said Carter, who came to Doane from the University of New England in July of 2011.  

Carter first met Alexander through the New York Zoological Society, now called the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS). After earning his doctorate in marine sciences from the College of William and Mary, he became a Marine Conservation Research Fellow for WCS and worked with the government of Belize and other groups to create the first coral reef marine reserve in the Caribbean. Alexander served on the WCS board of directors, and visited Belize to check progress on conservation projects.

They found similarities in their backgrounds and interests. He is an Illinois native who turned a love of fishing and nature into an academic career. She now lives in New York and Nova Scotia, but has family ties to Nebraska. She has long supported wildlife habitat protection and conservation of endangered species and currently is the Commissioner of Parks for the Taconic Region of New York. She kept in touch with Carter and his family and their paths crossed through the years.

Alexander will be a guest at several inauguration activities, including the historical stage reading of Doane history.

The celebration extends over three-days of events that capture and honor Doane's legacy as the college begins a new vision of the future.

Inauguration Schedule:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Academic Symposium:7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Chab Weyers Education and Hixson Lied Art Building. Presentations by Professors Kim Jarvis, Maureen Franklin, Brian Pauwels and Kate Marley and student Honors Program members


Friday, May 4, 2012

Inside the Actor's Studio with Jane Alexander: 1-2 p.m., Whitcomb Lee Conservatory

Special Ceremony: Doane Past and Present: 3 p.m., Underneath Tent by Merrill Tower. Reception following on Bastian Plaza


Saturday, May 5, 2012

Inaugural Ceremony: 1:30 p.m. Cassel Open Air Theatre, 1014 Boswell Ave., Crete 

(in the event of rain, the ceremony will move to the George and Sally Haddix Recreation and Athletic Center)

For more information, a full schedule and full bios of Dr. Carter, Jane Alexander and special guests,  go to, or call 402.826.8258.

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