Convocation to feature freshmen

Story by Mykaela Cross, Assistant Editor

As the 2015-16 academic year commences, Baker University is preparing for an annual university tradition. With a more active schedule and a focus on freshmen, Convocation will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 1, in Rice Auditorium.

This year features a few changes so that the event comes earlier in the school year, is more interactive and shines a spotlight on incoming freshmen.

In order to welcome the new class, Convocation will feature, for the first time, The Faces of the Class of 2019, a gallery dedicated to students. This year’s speakers will be Provost Brian Posler, Kopke Award recipient Alan Grant, Student Senate President Aaron Greenbaum and Baker University President Lynne Murray.

Convocation is a tradition of gathering dating back before the founding of the United States. According to Posler, the classic academic tradition has evolved from a legislative meeting of faculty, alumni and administration to become a celebration of new beginnings.

“I think this convocation is particularly special for Lynne Murray,” Posler said. “Because we weren’t able to do the big ceremony for inauguration last summer, this is one of her first chances to be in front of the entire academic community, so I’m excited for her.”

The ceremony will be livestreamed in order to include all of Baker’s campuses. Posler believes that Convocation is a crucial part of the university’s yearly cycle.

“It’s one of the key ceremonies that happen in an academic life of a university. I particularly like it when we time it at the beginning of the year because it completes the circle,” Posler said. “We have Commencement where we send a group of students out into the world after they’ve been transformed, and then, with opening Convocation, we welcome in new students. When you combine what we do with traditions walk at Baker and then Convocation, it makes a nice introduction for students to what it means to join the academy and be part of this larger institution.”