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Rachelle Karstens Will be Inaugurated This April

April 15, 2019 | by Baily Sitzmann

President Rachelle Karstens has been interim President and now official president since August 2018 of Briar Cliff University but after 1:30 pm on Friday, April 26she will officially be the 11thpresident.

According to Merriam-Webster inauguration means, “a ceremonial induction into office.” Though Karstens says, “At it’s heart, an inauguration is an invitation. An invitation to all to publically experience and celebrate Briar Cliff University – its beginnings, its present, and its future, while at the same time recognizing the achievements and distinctiveness of its students, its faculty and the university community as a whole.”

Briar Cliff is making inauguration an entire week long too. The list of events starts on April 22 with President Karstens addressing the Sisters of St. Francis of Dubuque, in Dubuque, IA. It ends on April 28 with a choir concert featuring BCU and Western Iowa Tech Community College singing at the Sioux City Art Museum. Dr. Paul Korchin, assistant professor of theology and co-chair of the inauguration committee, says, “This whole week is a time for students, faculty, administration, and everyone else to come together as a community. There are many ways to participate, this is not an event that happens every day or year.”

Briar Cliff has had a change of leadership twice in the past three years from former president, Beverly Whorton, of fifteen years. The many leaders caused students like, Junior, Jeana Hamman, to have skepticisms about the Karstens until meeting and seeing her around campus, and quickly changed her mind.

“She is very willing to interact with the students and be involved in campus activities. She is very personable, and I think will do well as president.”

President Karstens has always been a very involved employee and boss. She was previously an associate prosecutor and associate attorney at her own practice in Montezuma, IA before going to work for the University of Iowa Foundation and Indian Hills Community College. Where she worked in alumni relations and administration scholarships. From there she came to BCU, as the chief of staff and executive vice president, all before becoming interim and now president.

Karstens says she is excited to see what the future has in store for BCU and what lies ahead for the community.

“Ultimately, an inauguration symbolizes a new era while celebrating the history, traditions, and origins of the university’s past,” says Karstens.

A full list of the Briar Cliff University Inauguration events can be found on Briar Cliff’s website: For more information and how to RSVP to the inauguration go to the website.

Inauguration officially starts at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, April 26.

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