When UF President Kent Fuchs introduced himself to students on Monday, he said, "Hi, I’m Kent."
UF art sophomore Sydney Martin said Fuchs’ introduction left an impression on her. By using his first name, he showed he was approachable.
"I like that he’s so involved in the Student Body and tries really hard to reach out to students," the 19-year-old said.
On the Reitz Union North Lawn, students like Martin celebrated Fuchs’ official presidential inauguration by posing for photos with him and his wife, who both spoke with students. The event was part of this week’s inauguration festivities.
It was the only inauguration event planned specifically for students, said UF Student Body President Joselin Padron-Rasines.
Students in backpacks and blue jeans chatted as they ate burgers and cookies with the UF seal on them.
Albert and Alberta roamed around the orange-and-blue dressed tables and took selfies with attendees.
Fuchs said he has been looking forward to this event for a long time.
"I love the fact that we’re starting with the students," he said.
After about an hour of talking with people and smiling for photos, Fuchs said he wasn’t tired.
"This week is one of celebrating the university, not the new president," he said. "You need energy for that."
Fuchs’ wife, Linda, stood by her husband and shook hands with students.
"I’m delighted to have an opportunity to connect with the students," she said.
Padron-Rasines helped set up the event and said she enjoyed seeing students’ reactions to meeting Fuchs.
"My favorite part about this is giving students the opportunity to meet him," she said.
UF junior and Chinese major Jordan Silvers said Fuchs reminded him of a goofy dad.
He said he thinks students can relate to Fuchs because he makes the effort to get to know them.
"He makes the time to come out here, which says a lot," the 22-year-old said.
Contact Alex Fernandez at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @alexmfern
Daniela Gonzalez, an 18-year-old UF accounting freshman, shakes hands with President Fuchs during the Inauguration Week student event on the Reitz North Lawn on Nov. 30, 2015. Gonzalez, an assistant student government treasurer, said she has met Fuchs before but was happy to see him again.
Kimberly Vera (left), an 18-year-old UF wildlife ecology and conservation freshman, and Delaney Woodworth, a 19-year-old UF psychology freshman, grab lunch during President Fuchs’ Inauguration student event on the Reitz North Lawn. Vera and Woodworth planned their matching outfits for their photo with President Fuchs.
Cookies with an edible University Seal on them were served during presidential inauguration student event on Nov. 30, 2015.
Students mingle and eat on the Reitz North Lawn during the Inauguration Week event where students were invited to eat free food, play games and meet President Fuchs on Nov. 30, 2015.