The ceremony featured a video of the university, its faculty and students through the years, from early construction to the research institution it is today.
Pershing served as the school's senior vice president before regents chose him for the top job earlier this year. He replaces Michael K. Young, who left the school in 2011 to take the helm at the University of Washington.
Pershing has been an administrator at the Salt Lake City school since 1998. He first came to the university in 1977 as an assistant professor in chemical engineering, and has won awards for teaching and research.
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