Dear Members of the Syracuse University Community: Over the last several months, hundreds of students, faculty, staff, administrators and trustees have engaged in constructive, collaborative and respectful dialogue. The Board of Trustees created a Special Committee on University Climate, Diversity…
New Student Convocation Welcomes Freshman, Transfer Students
Senior Class Marshal Tatiana Williams ’16 offered four pieces of wisdom to incoming students during the University’s New Student Convocation Thursday evening in the Carrier Dome.
Find your crew. Discover yourself. Have fun. And follow your vision.
“Welcome to the place where you will meet your second family, and the people who will contribute daily to your growth. Welcome to the place where you will meet yourself, and get to know yourself in your truest form, walls down and minds open. Welcome to the place where you define fun and learn to seize every moment,” Williams said.
“Welcome to the place where your visions and desires will be cultivated into existent realities,” she said.
Williams was one of several speakers, including Chancellor Kent Syverud and Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost Liz Liddy, who greeted students at the traditional academic event welcoming first-year and transfer students—about 3,800—to campus.
The event, which officially kicks off new student orientation, Syracuse Welcome 2015, also featured a procession that included academic deans, faculty and University leadership from Syracuse University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, with musical accompaniment by the Syracuse University Marching Band.
Students sat in the lower levels in front of the stage, while families and friends looked on from the upper levels.
For the students, Chancellor Kent Syverud told them about the charge he would give them that was developed from the first charge given in 1871.
“The Chancellor who first spoke them, Erastus Haven, and the students who heard them could not have imagined what Syracuse University would become in 2015. And yet those students in 1871 discovered many of the same things that all of you will discover here,” Syverud said.
“Education is not something bestowed on you but something earned through hard work and discipline and seriousness and occasionally humor,” Syverud said. “A good education encompasses the full breadth of all disciplines from arts and humanities to the sciences.”
He asked students to leave the University a better place—as others did before them.
“We want you to know this is your university and you should make it your own,” he said.
Syverud also thanked the parents for preparing the students of the 2015 entering class.
“Like all of us at Syracuse, like every faculty and staff member here I know, I daily remember that I am the beneficiary of all your great work in developing these wonderful adults that I have the privilege to teach,” Syverud said. “Because of your work these students are our most sacred trust and we will remember this.”
Another speaker, faculty member Breagin K. Riley, assistant professor of marketing in the Whitman School of Management, encouraged students to contribute to the community at Syracuse University and access faculty members, who are thought leaders, Fulbright Scholars and researchers doing important work.
“We will do our best to facilitate your efforts at excellence. In exchange, we need you to do three things: Plan for excellence. Prepare for excellence. Pursue excellence,” Riley said.
She told students to plan to study and to fail, and be prepared for class, so they will be able to think creatively about the material and motivated to go deeper.
“When you feel that motivation, pursue it. Satisfy your curiosity,” Riley said. “Excellence requires this of you.”