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LEWISTON – The Rev. James J. Maher will be inaugurated as Niagara University’s 26th president in a ceremony at 3:30 p.m. next Friday in the Gallagher Center on the campus. Doors open at 1:30.

The event is open to the public, but registration is required.

Maher stepped into the top spot Aug. 1, succeeding the Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, who served as university president for 13 years. Levesque, who is currently serving as interim president of St. John’s University, will conduct the investiture of Maher prior to the new president’s address.

Since his appointment, Maher has been on a listening tour, meeting with staff, faculty and administration, as well as partners in the community, from elected officials to block club members. He will discuss his findings and Niagara’s role in the area in his inauguration address.

The inauguration will include presidents from other universities, the Vincentian order, elected officials, community members and faculty.

The inauguration will be part of a week of activities, including two topical seminars Thursday. At 11:10 a.m., there will be a symposium on the mission of a Vincentian education, and at 4 p.m. there will be a symposium on economic development and higher education.

An inaugural liturgy will be held prior to the inauguration at 11:15 a.m. next Friday in the upper level of the Gallagher Center with Bishop Richard J. Malone of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo presiding. The Rev. John T. Maher, the brother of the president, will deliver the homily.

Maher is an avid runner and was actively involved as a board member in the Bread and Life Program, the second-largest emergency food provider in New York City, during his tenure there at St. John’s University. He suggested a “Run Against Hunger” to raise awareness about poverty and hunger in that city and went on to compete in 10 more New York City Marathons in support of the cause. He will bring the “Run for Hunger” to Niagara with an inaugural 5K “Run for Hunger” on campus at 10 a.m. April 5. The event is open to the public. Proceeds will benefit the Heart, Love and Soul food pantry in Niagara Falls.

To register or receive more information on inauguration events, go to: www.niagara.edu/inauguration.

email: nfischer@buffnews.com