CMN investiture welcomes Trebian in style

Tribal officials honor president at ceremony
By: 

Leader photos by Carol Ryczek New College of Menominee Nation president Paul Trebian accepts the responsibilities of his position at his investiture ceremony in Keshena Friday.

The College of Menominee Nation welcomed its new president Friday in a ceremony that brought together the academic traditions from 12th century Europe with traditional Menominee crafts and music.

Wearing a black doctoral robe and academic stoles, President Paul Trebian agreed to support the mission of CMN, its students and the community. He was presented with a beaded medallion, a new symbol of the office, by CMN Board of Trustees Chairwoman Virginia Nuske.

The investiture of the new president is a first for CMN. Verna Fowler retired from her position as the first CMN president in 2016. In the early days of CMN, other needs took precedence over the need for an investiture ceremony.

The event was held at the Menominee Casino Resort in Keshena.

At the investiture, Fowler was recognized for her work in bringing the college to the Menominee Nation, as were members of the tribal legislature and college board of trustee members.

The ceremony included Menominee drummers and a presentation of flags by the Menominee Nation Color Guard. In addition to Nuske, CMN students and alumni and Menominee Tribal Chairman Douglas Cox welcomed the new president.

Keynote speaker Carrie Billy, president and CEO of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, repeated the message that tribal colleges are important “ladders” to success.

“There is tremendous power in tribal education,” Billy said. Education supports tribal people as “the original disruptors born from this land’s original entrepreneurs.”

Billy cited advances in crops, forestry and medicine as innovations that were launched by indigenous people.

“These entrepreneurs work for the greater good. Indigenous innovation is for the entire tribe, not one person, not for the ‘early adopter,’ ” she said. “We look for what we call the triple bottom line: social, environmental and financial gain.”

Education, she said, is what makes ongoing innovation possible.

Trebian assumed the post of president on May 15. He was selected after a 14-month national search. Nuske called Trebian “an excellent fit for the college and the communities we serve.”

Trebian holds a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership and Master of Business Administration with a Technology Management emphasis from the University of Phoenix. He also has master’s and bachelor of science degrees in architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Trebian has held administrative and faculty positions at Cardinal Stritch University’s College of Business and Management and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and teaching positions with the University of Phoenix and Navajo Technical College.

Trebian is a native of Alaska and a member of the Tlingit Tribe.