DOVER– Governor Jack Markell and Lt. Govenor Matt Denn both spoke of an obligation to future generations as they took their oaths, delivered their inaugural addresses and officially began their second terms today. They were joined by their families, members of the General Assembly, former Governors and Lieutenant Governors, elected officials and community members for a inaugural ceremony at Central Middle School in Dover.
“We are believers in the possibility of improvement and of progress,” said Governor Markell. “We are parties to an unspoken compact. As our ancestors have done for us, so we must do for posterity: enjoy the blessings that have been bestowed upon us, but multiply them in turn for those whose time is yet to come.”
The ceremony featured the Newark High School Band and the 287th Army Band of the Delaware National Guard, as well as singing by University of Delaware student Elizabeth I. Rivera and Cab Calloway School of the Arts student Chad Michael Jervis. Participants in the program included Delaware State University President Dr. Harry Williams, Catholic Diocese of Wilmington Bishop W. Francis Malooly, and Rabbi Peter Grumbacher. Supreme Court Chief Justice Myron Steele administered the Governor’s oath and Superior Court Judge Jan Jurden administered the oath to Lt. Governor Denn.
During his remarks, the Governor highlighted accomplishments from his first term in office, including closing the largest budget deficit in Delaware’s history; winning the federal Race to the Top grant money for education; supporting job growth for both existing and new companies; and modernizing the state’s energy infrastructure.
“The work we have done together these past four years is just the beginning,” said Governor Markell. “That work continues, starting today. We will create a Delaware even better poised for prosperity in the new world we live in. Rather than ask how we might consume more today, we will ask how we might invest more effectively in the foundation for tomorrow’s growth – our schools, our workforce, and our quality of life.”
In his remarks, Lt. Governor Denn also spoke of an “obligation to lay a foundation for greatness.”
“Here in Delaware, we do our part by recognizing that greatness comes when we help individuals fulfill their God-given potential,” said Lt. Governor Denn. “When we recognize that the next Steve Jobs may be the eight year old son of a struggling single parent in Wilmington, waiting to be inspired by a great teacher. That the next Sonia Sotomayor may be a toddler in Seaford, whose life will be forever changed by the help she gets before she is even three years old. We have a moral obligation to our state’s children to help them achieve.”
The Lt. Governor concluded his remarks by encouraging Delawareans to look out for one another and support all of the state’s children as if they were their own.
“If we keep these values in our hearts, they will steer us toward decisions that will fulfill our greatest aspirations for our state and its people, and bring closer the day when we make true the words of the American poet Walt Whitman, who told us that the strongest and sweetest songs remain to be sung.”
Following the ceremony, there was a public greeting, where citizens had the opportunity to greet Governor Markell and Lt. Governor Denn. Captain Shane Mason, Commander of the 1049th Transportation Company of the Delaware Army National Guard, served as Military Aide to the Governor for the greeting.
This evening, the Governor and First Lady will host an Inaugural Ball at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington. The theme of the inaugural ball is “Celebrating Volunteerism In Our State” and will feature photos of volunteers in action around Delaware. The ball will highlight the culinary creativity and talent of the state with hors d’oeuvres provided by restaurants of the Delaware Restaurant Association as well as beer and wine tastings by Delaware breweries and wineries. Entertainment is by legendary Delaware band Love Seed Mama Jump and disc jockey Marc Emerick.
The ball culminates a series of inaugural events across the State, which began with an Interfaith Prayer Service in Sussex County on Sunday. In addition, the Governor and Lt. Governor, along with their spouses, have been participating in a series of volunteer projects during a Week of Service, scheduled between January 11 and 21, and have been encouraging Delawareans to do the same. The full list of service projects is listed at www.volunteerdelaware.org. In keeping with the theme of service, the Markells are also requesting donations to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware “Project Renewal.” Project Renewal aims to mobilize volunteers, community leaders, and resources across the state in a coordinated effort to renew and upgrade the facilities at Boys & Girls Clubs in Delaware. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware serve 20,000 children annually at 41 sites around the state. Donations can be made online at www.bgclubs.org/projectrenewal.