With the theme, ”Milestones,” to commemorate the University of Central Missouri’s rich history, the inauguration of Roger J. Best, Ph.D., as UCM’s 16th president will take place Thursday, April 18, in the Multipurpose Building arena.

Inauguration ceremonies begin at 1 p.m., and a reception follows immediately in the ballroom of the Elliott Student Union. The public is invited. .

Best was named president by the Board of Governors on Nov. 5, 2018. He had served since  Aug. 1 of the same year as interim president after Dr. Charles “Chuck” Ambrose left the post for a new position as chief executive officer for KnowledgeWorks in Cincinnati, Ohio.

After growing up and earning his higher education in Georgia, Best joined UCM in August 1995 as an assistant professor of finance, and climbed the faculty ranks to become a professor in 2005. He was named chair of the Department of Economics and Finance in 2003; associate dean of the Harmon College of Business Administration in 2008; and dean of the college in 2010.

Following an extensive restructuring of academic programs, Best began service as dean of the newly formed Harmon College of Business and Professional Studies in 2011. His strong business acumen contributed to Best becoming Interim Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration in August 2017, and concurrent with a university administrative reorganization, he was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in January 2018.

The university is celebrating Best’s inauguration as the institution nears its 150th anniversary. Founded in 1871, UCM’s sesquicentennial takes place during the 2021-2022 academic year.

More information about inauguration activities at UCM will be available closer to the event. To learn more about inauguration events and to read a more detailed biography about President Best, visit ucmo.edu/inauguration.