By Carina Sorrentino
On September 10, the Class of 2017 was welcomed to Union College at the Opening Convocation Ceremony to celebrate the college’s 219th year.
Held in Memorial Chapel, students, faculty and parents packed in to hear from acting president Therese McCartywho delivered her insights on plans for holistic improvement in the upcoming year.
Instead of focusing solely on the academic aspect of campus life, McCarty introduced the multi-faceted Strategic Plan.
Steps include development of better residence halls, strengthening student-faculty relationships, deepening the relevance of academic strategies to go beyond the classroom and creating a strong sense of place.
McCarty’s main advice was to encourage students to notice, choose and tell, three actions she embodied in her speech by outlining the college’s most recent goals.
Vice President of Academic Affairs David Hayes presented two honors: first recognizing the talented students who made the Dean’s List this past year, and secondly presenting the Stillman Prize for Excellence in Teaching.
The recipient, Carol Weisse, is Union’s director of the Health Professions program and a professor of psychology.
In her acceptance, Weisse thanked her students and fellow faculty members, stating that her success was attributed to her constant state of learning in their presence.
The ceremony concluded with musical performances from the Heavenly Voices gospel choir and the Union College Chorale.
Through highlighting the honors of Union College, presenting plans for change, providing entertainment from Union’s own students and then hosting a friendly barbecue the ceremony was an all-around success.
Convocation is not only a way to formally welcome the incoming freshman but also to instill the sense of community that Union seeks to foster between staff and students, setting the stage for yet another progressive year.