There were hugs, photographs and handshakes — lots of handshakes.
On his first official day as Youngstown State University president Tuesday, Jim Tressel and his wife, Ellen, opened the university-owned Pollock House to constituent groups.
He said they were pleased with the number of those who braved the heat, which had climbed into the 90s by the afternoon.
“We were told about 500 came in the morning, and I think we had 80 to 90 students,” he said. “This afternoon, we’re expecting about 100 and that’s the trustees and the various boards.”
Members of the faculty, staff and administration filed onto the Pollock House porch in the morning, greeted by the couple while their two dogs, Scarlet and Gracie, 7-year-old Maltese dogs, lounged on a bench nearby.
The couple shook hands with each employee. Some recognized Tressel from the years he spent as YSU’s head football coach from 1986 to 2000. Others he met for the first time.
The couple started moving into the historic university-owned mansion the third week in May, shortly after his selection as YSU’s ninth president. He said the couple is about halfway moved in.
“I love it — so much history,” he said.
Students led tours of the historic home for visitors during each session and several bouquets sent by well-wishers decorate the first floor. Framed American flags flown during combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan presented to Tressel by U.S. service members adorn the walls.
Read more about the day in Wednesday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.