Story by News Director Erin Ben-Moche
Photo by Oakland University
On what felt like the first official spring day on campus, Dr. Ora Hirsch Pescovitz became the seventh president of Oakland University. A procession of faculty, staff, students and bagpipe musicians marched alongside the warm sunlight into the O’rena for the formal inaugural ceremony.
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost James Lentini and Chair of the Board of Trustees John DeVore gave opening remarks and expressed their gratitude to President Pescovitz.
“We are both so fortunate and grateful to have her join us on this mission,” DeVore said.
Pescovitz is entering the higher education world with an impressive resume under her belt. Her experience includes being a pediatric endocrinologist, published researcher, public speaker, and former Dean for Research Affairs at the Indiana University of School and Medicine.
Though she is known for her work, she is remembered for her presence. Entering the room, she stopped to wave to students and friends. She shook hands with everyone who talked to her and thanked them more than once.
This isn’t just today, this is how she is every day. Her work ethic and personality put together means Oakland University is in good hands.
After a few of Pescovitz’s strengths were spoken highly of by faculty, staff and alumni, Student Body President Lena Mishack emphasized the impact Pescovitz has on students.
“Having a president like Dr. Pescovitz is truly such a treasure for our university,” Mishack said. “When students come to campus and know their president cares deeply about their success, and values their ideas and opinions, it fosters the best type of environment to learn and grow.”
Mishack, who is graduating in a week then attending medical school at Michigan State University, shared a story about when she was accepted to graduate school. Not only was the president there, she was the first to congratulate Mishack and give her advice.
“As a few of my friends and colleagues put it, Dr. Pescovitz is one of the best things to happen to Oakland University. I couldn’t agree more,” Mishack said.
Pescovitz doesn’t just have a love for medicine. Her love for art was known during the inaugural ceremony which was filled with performance art. The Oakland University Chorale, student dance troupe Take Root, and Wind Symphony all performed to proudly represent OU and the School of Music, Theater and Dance.
When Ora took the stage she was met with a standing ovation and cheers from the audience.
Listen to highlight’s of President Pescovitz’ speech here: