Grand Forks, N.D. -

UND officially inaugurates it's 12th President.

"Today I have the wonderful privilege of welcoming President Mark Kennedy to the University of North Dakota," said UND student body President Brandon Beyer.

Mark Kennedy becomes the 12th President of the University since it's founding in 1883.

It's a landmark for the university and a milestone for Kennedy himself.

"Being a university president was unimaginable to me as a first generation college graduate, but here I am," said Kennedy.

Not only is the university welcoming a new president but they are celebrating a new chapter for the community.

Alumni, staff and students gather to celebrate the university as a whole.

Kennedy was presented the UND mace, known as the "Chain of Office" to represent his new position and hold the trust of the UND family.

"Made from the wood on the University's first building, Old Maine, the mace represents the authority of the university to carry out it's mission," said Kathleen Neset, Chair of the State Board of Higher Education.

Kennedy may have come from Washington D.C., but he's no stranger to the history of the state.

He will be the third generation of his family to live in North Dakota.

"We gave our name to the state," he explained. "The university established the motto, as Professor Harsell said, 'Light and Law'. We devoted ourselves to show to shining the light and discovery on new avenues."

Kennedy has been serving as President since July 1.