The Class of 2020 will officially join the College of Charleston community at convocation on Monday, Aug. 22, 2016. The annual celebration marks the beginning of the academic year, welcomes new students to the liberal arts and sciences community and introduces them to the College’s academic traditions and history.

To begin the day, faculty will lead small groups of new students in a discussion about The College Reads! selection for this year, The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas, by Anand Giridharadas. Incoming students received a copy of the book over the summer as well as a Reading Guide and essay assignment.

For a complete list of the conversation room assignments, visit the convocation webpage.


Incoming students sign the ledger books at convocation, signaling their entry into the CofC community.

These discussions will begin at 10 a.m. and last roughly 45 minutes, after which faculty members will put on academic regalia and lead their groups back toward the center of campus, through Porter’s Lodge, and into the Cistern Yard. Upon entering the Cistern area, students will be met and welcomed by other faculty, staff, alumni, members of the Board of Trustees, neighbors and friends of the College.

“Convocation is the first opportunity for new students to share their ideas and to engage in conversation with a faculty member around the topic of The College Reads book,” said Lynne Ford, associate vice president for the Academic Experience. “The procession through Porter’s Lodge signifies their formal entry into the academic community and the start of their intellectual journey at the College. As graduates of the College, they will process back out through Porter’s Lodge.”

Beginning at 11 a.m., President Glenn McConnell ’69, Provost Brian McGee and SGA President Michael Faikes will give brief welcoming remarks. Following the singing of the Alma Mater, new students will be invited to sign the ledger books.

In his remarks to students, McConnell will highlight the very special occasion that awaits this year’s freshmen class in four years – the 250th anniversary of the College’s founding. “We will be celebrating 250 years of leadership and innovation, high-quality academics and athletics, the countless remarkable faculty, staff and students who have walked our campus, and the long-lasting impression our College of Charleston has had on the city, the state and beyond,” McConnell said.

To accommodate foot traffic throughout the morning, several streets will be closed to vehicle traffic (beginning at 8 a.m.: George Street between St. Philip and Coming; beginning at 9 a.m.: St. Philip between Calhoun and George streets).

Following convocation, a full slate of events and activities are planned as part of Welcome Week 2016. Here’s the full schedule:

  • Georgestock
    Monday, Aug. 22 – 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. – George St./Stern Center Gardens
  • “Bet You Forgot This” Hosted by Stern Nite Life
    Thursday, Aug. 25 – 9:00 p.m. – Stern Center Ballroom
  • CAB Casino Night
    Friday, Aug. 26 – 9 p.m. – Stern Center Ballroom
  • Student Organization Fair
    Saturday, Aug. 27 – 2 p.m.-4 p.m. – Cistern Yard
  • SGA Bike Auction
    Wednesday, Aug. 31 – 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. – George Street