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Freshmen Formally Welcomed into CNR Community at Convocation

September 5, 2018

The freshmen class of the School of Arts & Sciences and School of Nursing & Healthcare Professions was formally welcomed into the CNR Community on Tuesday, September 4, during the Freshmen Convocation.

The more than 200 young women and men who comprise the Class of 2022, hailing from 11 states and as far away as China and Venezuela, processed into the Chapel to start the ceremony, which has become a formal tradition at CNR. Addressing the freshmen class, Dr. David Donnelly, interim senior vice president for academic affairs, said that the convocation served as the first of two bookends for their CNR education, with the convocation marking the start and Commencement marking the completion.

“During your years at CNR, you will acquire knowledge, new facts and professional experience, but ultimately the goal of a CNR education is to provide you with wisdom for life that you will continue to apply for the betterment of society, for that is the core of a CNR education,” he said. “Just as we call your name today, at Commencement, when we call your name, though it will be the same, you will be a different person as a result of the wisdom you have gained at CNR.”

After each of the freshmen was individually welcomed into the College Community, Aaliyah Fields SAS’19, president of the Student Government Association, took a few moments to congratulate the new students.

“Only one out of every six students will make the courageous decision to attend college after graduating high school” she said. “If you take a look around the room, you will see future nurses, psychologists, medical doctors, social workers, personal trainers, teachers and police officers. And, regardless of what you decide to do, you will ALWAYS make a difference. This college will allow you to grow while “adulting”, build friendships that last a lifetime, and impact the lives of others intentionally or unintentionally…. During the first moments of one of my first philosophy courses at CNR, I learned that I was in control... in control of my future, in control of my values and in control of my decisions from that point on.  

“Three years ago, I would have never thought I would be in the position that I am in today, and I would like to thank God, CNR and my family for helping me grow and giving me the ability to take on such life-changing tasks.”

Addressing the incoming class at his first convocation as President of CNR, Dr. William Latimer noted that it was the first time at a convocation during his entire academic career that he had witnessed the names of each freshman being called. “And that really is a direct reflection on how CNR puts students first,” he said.

President Latimer then went on to offer the students advice that had served him well during the entirety of his education and career. “While you are here, there are so many things you can choose to do, but one thing you should be sure to do is to get a mentor and do it sooner rather than later. Reach out to the faculty, librarians, student services personnel and let them know who you are, where you are from and your hopes and dreams, so they can provide you with guidance throughout your CNR years and beyond.”

Following the convocation, the newly welcomed Class of 2022 enjoyed a barbecue lunch on Maura Lawn, where they began to take that advice to heart as they got to know the faculty and staff that would be integral parts of their next four years at CNR.

Freshman Convocation 2018