Each year, Michigan State University holds a fall convocation to welcome incoming students and introduce them to prominent staff. Typically, this event is held in the Breslin Center; however, the university held this year's convocation virtually to comply with COVID-19 guidelines and recent adjustments to the fall semester.
During the ceremony, President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Teresa Woodruff, Vice President and Associate Provost for Student Affairs and Services Denise Maybank, and Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of Undergraduate Studies Mark Largent welcomed incoming students.
The convocation started with a message from MSU alumnus David Brown, who narrated the live stream.
"Welcome to convocation 2020," Brown said. "We know you're missing many firsts that other Spartans before you participated in, but we didn't want you to miss an opportunity to see the campus in your first fall semester at Michigan State. It's not the same as being here in person, but the campus will be here for all of us to be together when it's safe to do so."
A short message from Largent followed Brown's welcome, and then each college's dean introduced themselves.
The Associated Students of Michigan State University, or ASMSU, President Abii-Tah Bih also spoke at the convocation.
"My hope is that this class of 2024 will be remembered as the class that overcame," Bih said. "My hope for this class is to remember that this Spartan nation is not just the sum of its parts. Instead, we are a true melting pot. We defy all hints of defeat, and we commit to uplift each other."
Woodruff also gave her remarks to the incoming fall class. She shared how it would also be her first semester at MSU and of her excitement for the coming year.
"Like you, I was eager and excited to walk across campus and see you moving in and finding your way to campus buildings," Woodruff said. "But our president has made the wise decision to prioritize your physical health and well being and that of our faculty, graduate students and staff. So, we will be learning, teaching, and meeting in spaces and places in locations across Michigan and literally spanning the globe. Despite our different geographies, we are all part of MSU and my goal and the goal of your deans are no different than in any other year. And that is to support a world-class education. Fundamentally, our decisions are made to support your intellectual health and development."
The convocation concluded with a speech from Stanley, where he gave students three major points to remember for their freshman year.
"So what were the three things I urge you to do?" Stanley said. "No. 1, study hard and participate in your courses. No. 2, engage with the student community. And No. 3, aim to finish in four years. ... May the next four years grant you academic challenges that excite your mind and experiences that give wings to your spirit that you know success and celebrate that of your fellow Spartans in every field of endeavor."
The ceremony was recorded and published for viewing if you missed it.
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