BOZEMAN (AP) — Waded Cruzado has been sworn in as Montana State University's 12th president, becoming the first minority and first woman to hold the post at the 117-year-old school.
At the ceremony on Friday she said she felt "gratitude, joy and humility," and that she intends to move mountains to build an even better and stronger university.
"We attract the best and brightest, and we will continue to do so," said Cruzado, 50.
But she said it's unacceptable that nearly a third of Montana State students drop out after their freshman year, and that only about half of MSU students obtain a degree within six years. She vowed to improve that.
She also said she wants to set aside money for faculty to create online courses or transform existing classes.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported that about 1,000 people attended the event at the Strand Union Building, including Gov. Brian Schweitzer.
Cruzado was sworn in by Montana Board of Regents Chairman Clayton Christian using a Bible that belonged to the Rev. James Reid, the university's second president.
A presidential medallion created for MSU's 1993 centennial and made of Montana silver, copper and ice blue sapphires was placed around Cruzado's neck.
Though the official swearing in ceremony was Friday, Cruzado has been working as president of the school since January. Before that she was the executive vice president and provost of New Mexico State University.
At Montana State she succeeded Geoff Gamble, who announced in March 2009 his plans to retire after nine years on the job.