Find Events Find People Find Jobs Find Sites Find Help Index


September 4, 2001

Convocation greets new freshman class

By Eric Rangus


With all the robed finery, bagpipes and sober ceremony that accompanies Convocation, perhaps a little stuffiness is expected.

Fortunately that stuffiness was limited to the weather outside and the air inside Glenn Auditorium—not anybody’s attitude—on what was an extraordinarily muggy day that welcomed the Class of 2005 to Emory, Aug. 28.

“I remember my convocation well,” said new Student Govern-ment Association president Anna Manasco. “I sat in these same cramped, warm pews next to people I had barely known three days. I felt a bit alone and wasn’t entirely sure that I was in the right place.

“Now, three short years later, as my class prepares to gather for the second and final time at graduation, I am intimately connected with this community and I am entirely sure that it has been the right one for me.”

That intimate connection of which Manasco spoke begins for each class, every year, at its convocation, which—along with graduation—is the only time it gathers as a whole in one place.
Manasco was one of four speakers to greet Emory’s newest undergraduates two days before they would attend their first classes.

Another speaker was President Bill Chace.

“It really isn’t necessary for me to remark on the importance of this day, and this ritual, to you,” he said. “I think none of you is so superbly cool as to regard this moment in your lives as ordinary.
“Your sense of anticipation, your sense of excitement, even perhaps your anxiety, all tell you that this day will mark the moment when you left some things behind and discovered a new way of being yourselves.”

While Chace was presiding over his eighth Emory convocation, the afternoon’s other two speakers were making their first appearances on the dais.

Dean of Emory College, Bobby Paul—who was previously dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences—took to the podium following Provost Woody Hunter’s call to order and Dean of the Chapel Susan Henry-Crowe’s invocation, and made a request of the Class of 2005 to befriend its professors.

“Get to know them not only in class, but in your FAME groups, in freshman seminars and in their office hours,” Paul said. “Faculty members reserve time in their offices for you, and they relish the opportunity to meet and talk one-on-one with involved and interested students. They will take your visiting them as a compliment.”

Finally, John Ford, senior vice president of Campus Life, encouraged the Class of 2005 to stretch itself.

“The time you spend at this institution will develop your idealism,” he said. “Think of campus as a place where you can experiment with your sense of destiny.”

To close convocation, Associate Dean of the Chapel Bridgette Young, who—like Paul and Ford—was making her first convocation address, delivered the benediction. She first read a poem and then offered her own words.

“When you leave this auditorium, may you always remember that every experience during your journey at Emory is a precious opportunity to fully become who you were created to be,” she said.

Following an “amen,” the bagpipes played once again, the faculty marched down the aisle and out the door, and another class of Emory freshmen was born.


Back to Emory Report September 4, 2001