Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Freshmen learn traditions, get into the spirit at convocation

KINGSVILLE - August 28, 2006

Contact: Julie Navejar
kajam03@tamuk.edu or 361-593-2590

Texas A&M University-Kingsville will host Freshman Convocation at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6, in the Jones Auditorium to welcome new students to the campus and to college life.

“The purpose of convocation is to welcome new students to the university and while doing so, to introduce important traditions to the newest members of the campus community,” said Dr. Dann Brown, dean of University College and chair of the convocation committee.

“This year’s convocation committee hopes to accomplish part of this task by providing new students with the opportunity to observe and better understand the importance of traditions associated with higher education.”

This year’s keynote speaker is Kleberg County Attorney Alfred Isassi, a Kingsville native and a 1993 graduate of Texas A&M-Kingsville. He then earned his law degree from Texas Southern University in Houston and is an active supporter of A&M-Kingsville and the community.

Brown said many universities are integrating programs like Freshman Convocation into their first-year experience program. “Freshman Convocation provides a formal welcome to new students that introduces important traditions and establishes a ceremonial separation from the high school environment. It provides our university with an opportunity to introduce campus traditions to new students and demonstrates our commitment to student success at A&M-Kingsville.

“Freshman Convocation is linked to our student’s eventual graduation from A&M-Kingsville,” Brown said. “This message, that the goal of obtaining a college degree is attainable on our welcoming campus, is conveyed symbolically as faculty, staff, students, family and guests participate in convocation.”

Manuel Lujan, associate vice president for enrollment management, will open convocation and lead participants in the Pledge of Allegiance. In addition to Isassi, this year’s speakers include Dr. Kay Clayton, provost and vice president for academic affairs, who will discuss the role of Freshman Convocation at the university and recognize participants. Dr. Rumaldo Z. Juárez, university president, will officially welcome the freshman class of 2006 on behalf of the university community.

Dr. Thomas A. Fields, Faculty Senate president, will discuss the significance of the academic regalia worn by faculty. Thomas Bingham, president of the Student Government Association, will lead students in reciting the Javelina Pledge , a tradition initiated at the first Freshman Convocation held at the university in 1999. As the Convocation closes, Kelly Lozano, music education student from Laredo, will lead all participants in the Alma Mater , one of A&M-Kingsville’s most special traditions.

The convocation is required for all new students enrolled for the fall semester. Parents and other family members also are invited. The convocation will be followed by a reception.

For more information call 361-593-3290.

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