Freshmen learn traditions, get into the spirit at convocation
KINGSVILLE - September 06, 2006
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Texas A&M University-Kingsville hosted Freshman Convocation at 1 p.m. today, Wednesday, Sept. 6, in the Jones Auditorium. This annual tradition welcomes 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 hoped 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 was 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. He 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, opened convocation and led participants in the Pledge of Allegiance. In addition to Isassi, this year’s speakers included Dr. Kay Clayton, provost and vice president for academic affairs, who discussed the role of Freshman Convocation at the university and recognized participants. Dr. Rumaldo Z. Juárez, university president, officially welcomed the freshman class of 2006 on behalf of the university community.
Dr. Thomas A. Fields, Faculty Senate president, discussed the significance of the academic regalia worn by faculty. Thomas Bingham, president of the Student Government Association, led students in reciting the Javelina Pledge , a tradition initiated at the first Freshman Convocation held at the university in 1999. As the Convocation closed, Kelly Lozano, music education student from Laredo, led 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 were invited. The convocation was followed by a reception.
For more information call 361-593-3290.
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