Even the phrase "presidential inauguration" oozes boring, pompous ceremony.

Not this one.

This weekend, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design will inaugurate its leader, Jay Coogan, who started there last summer.

It's MCAD's first such ceremony. So there are no rules.

But there are expectations. After scanning the symbols and ceremony, the school decided to skip the scepter but make a medallion, MCAD-style.

No Roman numerals, no motto, no torch. After sketches and drafts, they settled on a simple, modern design and four letters in Verlag type: MCAD.

"To me, it's the perfect balance between old and new," said Tomas Villaseñor, a recent illustration grad who led the medallion's design. "We're creating a medal -- something so old-fashioned and so classic and been done so many times -- and applying a modern twist to it."

Much like the entire proceedings.

There will be a procession, speeches, a closing poem. But there will also be a 500-square-foot mural, an Indonesian musical ensemble and a host of origami chandeliers.

Of course, MCAD has artistic talent to draw on.

"Instead of hiring creative staff, we're simply reaching within our community of alumni and faculty and staff," said spokesman Rob Davis. "It's like planning a big party where you're surrounded by your most creative friends."

Saturday's events begin with a private brunch and conclude with an inauguration party in the Student Center. In between, the chair of the college's board of trustees will place that medallion around Coogan's neck, where it stay -- briefly.

"Jay was kind of like, 'How long will I have to keep this on?'" Davis said. "We're not really big on wearing medallions around all day."

Jenna Ross • 612-673-7168