Though the formal inauguration takes place this morning, the past week has been filled with celebration. The Arts Showcase, which featured student work and performances, was held in Bovard Auditorium and Alumni Park Wednesday evening to honor USC’s arts schools and student creatives. The following day, Faculty Symposiums showcased innovative faculty work and research from several fields of study, from advances in artificial intelligence to dance in the digital age. This event is a turning point for the University. In the face of troubled times, Folt ushers in an era of change. Though she joins the ranks of USC giants like Steven Sample and C. L. Max Nikias, her three months in office have already made history — Folt is the first woman to serve as president. “The inauguration of USC’s next president marks the beginning of a new era of excellence in teaching and research, institutional accountability, and service to our local communities, the nation and the world,” Rick Caruso, Chair of the Board of Trustees, wrote on the inauguration website. Today is a significant day in USC’s 139-year history. Carol Folt will take center stage in Alumni Park for her inauguration as USC’s 12th president. (Andrea Diaz | Daily Trojan) For part of the ceremony, leaders and members of the community will march in an official processional. Students, staff, parents, alumni and community members representing everything from academic programs to student organizations, will march from the steps of Bovard Auditorium to Alumni Park. Select students will carry heraldic flags that will fly at the forefront of the procession, representing the University’s degree programs. Following the procession, the community will celebrate the inauguration with a luncheon at McCarthy Quad. Amid all the celebration, today’s ceremony marks a literal and figurative step forward for the University of Southern California.