Over the past two weeks, numerous celebrations were held on campus to help usher in the Year of the Rabbit, which began Jan. 22 based on the lunar calendar. Celebratory events were hosted by the Newhouse School and School of…
Two Pieces of Advice Chancellor Syverud Shared with New Students at Convocation (With Video)
Before new students recited the charge to officially become part of the Orange family and swayed to the alma mater, Chancellor Kent Syverud offered two bits of advice to the incoming class during New Student Convocation.
The first: Come as you are.
“If you have not figured it out yet, you will pretty soon: there is no one way of thinking, no one way of dressing, no one person who is the ‘normal’ here. People are unique and amazing and dazzlingly different,” Chancellor Syverud said to the 4,000-plus new undergraduates and their families in the JMA Wireless Dome Thursday, Aug. 25.
“Given that there is no ‘normal’ here, why not try just being yourself? Not the image of perfection that appears on social media; not the identical replica of someone else, but just be you,” he said. “I believe you will find that if you come as you are here, you will become Orange.”
The second: Become more at Syracuse.
“That’s the common thread in every speech you are hearing this week. You have a chance that has been denied to so many people in this world: a chance to be part of a great university,” Chancellor Syverud said. “What a waste, if you end up here without learning and doing and becoming more than you are now. So please, become more here, in your own unique and defining way.”
New students were officially welcomed to the University during New Student Convocation—an academic program with leadership and faculty progressing into the JMA Dome with full regalia—kicking off the academic year. A highlight of Syracuse Welcome, it’s both the first time new students gather together as a class and a bookend to the next time they will all be together in the JMA Dome: Commencement.
Chancellor Syverud also shared his congratulations to the parents and families of those students who are now Syracuse Orange.
“We know how much you have poured into these entering students, who are now adults. We know you want to continue to be there for them in different ways—ways that match the need for these adults to start off on their own in a great university,” Chancellor Syverud said. “We know the treasure you have entrusted to us, and so many of us take that responsibility very seriously.”
Gretchen Ritter, vice chancellor, provost and chief academic officer, encouraged the new class to boldly follow their creativity and remember a quote from philosopher and educator John Dewey: “Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of imagination.”
“Dewey believed—and I believe—that imagination is a vehicle for learning in all fields: from science and math, to politics and literature, to art and music,” Ritter said. “And audacity is the courage to stretch your thinking beyond the boundaries of current understanding.”
The determined charge of “Go Orange” empowers students with the freedom to be bold.
“It’s the rallying cry to explore the far reaches of your imagination—with audacity,” Ritter said. “We need your brave creativity to envision a world that provides economic opportunity to talented strivers of all backgrounds and abilities.”
Among other speakers, Allen Groves, senior vice president and chief student experience officer, and Marcelle Haddix, associate provost for strategic initiatives and Dean’s Professor of Literacy, Race and Justice, also shared remarks with students.
Before Convocation ended, students sang the alma mater, swaying arm in arm with their fellow students, ready for their academic career at Syracuse University to begin.