LEWISTON — Months after Clayton Spencer moved into her grand office at Bates College, the president is getting her inauguration.

On Friday afternoon, in front of the Bates community and invited guests, she will be joined by delegates from 70 schools at Bates’ Merrill Gymnasium for speeches, pomp and pageantry.

“This is the ceremonial installation as president,” Meg Kimmel, the college’s assistant vice president for communications, said. “It’s a time when we all feel lifted up by what we do here.”

Plans call for the official afternoon ceremony as well as a renaming of the Bates Chapel for Peter Gomes, a Bates alumnus and longtime minister at Harvard University. There will also be a discussion of liberal arts that will include a panel with Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust.

“That promises to be a great academic moment that will also tickle the brain,” Kimmel said.

At the inaugural, Faust is scheduled to introduce Spencer.

Spencer will become only the eighth president in the school’s 157 year history. That fact alone makes the ceremony special, Kimmel said.

“We hope President Spencer will be here for a long time,” she said

Part of the ceremony will be the attendance of so many delegates, a longtime tradition for schools.

“Often times, it will be someone who lives in Maine but went to college at a place like the University of Virginia,” Kimmel said. In this case, delegates will represent schools as far away as Cambridge, England, and as close as Spencer’s own father, Samuel.

“Dr. Spencer, who is in his 90s, will be there and he is officially the delegate from Davidson College,” Kimmel said. The elder Spencer served as president of the North Carolina school from 1968 until 1983.

The highlight of the inaugural is expected to be Clayton Spencer’s speech.

The inaugural, as well as Thursday’s chapel naming ceremony, are open to the Bates College community and invited guests only. Friday’s discussion on liberal arts, slated for 9:30 a.m. at the Olin Arts Center Concert Hall, is open to the public.

Many faculty and students are expected to attend, though classes will go on as planned Friday and attendance is not mandatory.

For some, even the ceremony will relate directly to their class work.

Among the student help on the event will be a theater technology class led by Michael Reidy, a senior lecturer and Bates’ managing director of theater and dance. The class helped create the stage, which will feature a pair of giant video screens.

The 2:30 p.m. ceremony will be broadcast live over the Internet. It will be found at www.bates.edu/inauguration along with other inaugural information.

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