Former U.S. ambassador Phil Murphy was sworn in as New Jersey’s 56th governor on Tuesday, and called on the state to “write a new chapter” to include leadership, vision and “understanding the power of thinking big.”

The Middletown resident was surrounded by his family during the ceremony at the War Memorial Auditorium in Trenton. Also sworn in was new Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver, the former Assembly speaker.

They succeed Gov. Chris Christie and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.

During his inaugural speech, Murphy called repeatedly for a “stronger and fairer” New Jersey.

“A stronger and fairer New Jersey funds its public schools and delivers on the promise of property tax relief … makes a four-year college more affordable and provides free access to community college … and, creates new training programs to prepare our residents for jobs in an innovation-driven economy,” said Gov. Murphy.

”The New Jersey School Boards Association looks forward to working with our new governor and his administration as we address critical issues facing our schools, ranging from funding and opportunities for the non-college-bound student, to school facility needs and assessment,” said Dr. Lawrence S. Feinsod, NJSBA executive director.

Dr. Feinsod and NJSBA Government Relations Director Michael Vrancik served on the Murphy transition committee.

During Tuesday’s ceremony, outgoing Gov. Christie joined Murphy on the stage. Gov. Murphy also recognized six former New Jersey chief executives who were present: Tom Kean, Jim Florio, Donald DiFrancesco, Jim McGreevey, Richard Codey and Jon Corzine.

Murphy said that he wished that the late Gov. Brendan Byrne, who died in early January, had been able to attend as well. In tribute, the new governor directed that the flag presented to Byrne’s family by military honor guard be flown over the War Memorial during the ceremony.

“When we part company today and leave this building, I ask you to pause and look up, to that flag and to the sky beyond, in remembrance of Governor Brendan Byrne,” Murphy said.