Convocation is a time for faculty and new students to gather and reflect on the journey ahead. It’s a time of excitement as a new academic year begins to unfold. And the journey is even more meaningful at the College of Charleston this year with a new president at the helm.
“This is also my freshman year as your president,” President Andrew T. Hsu told the more than 2,000 incoming freshmen and transfer students during convocation on Monday, Aug. 19, 2019. “Like you, when I first arrived, I was a little anxious, but most excited about what lay ahead of me. Like you, I could not wait to meet the people who make up our campus community, to learn the history and traditions of our university and begin to forge my own path. In short, like you, I couldn’t wait to begin my College of Charleston experience.”
Hsu added, “Trust me: This is going to be our time, our year.”
New students gathered in the Cistern Yard for convocation after officially beginning their college careers Monday morning with a discussion about racism, division and the importance of better understanding one another – all surrounding Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist, the 2019–20 book selection for the campuswide reading program The College Reads!
Hsu encouraged students to embrace and explore the new ideas, experiences and people they will encounter during their years at CofC.
“Today marks the beginning of a period of time in your life that will be filled with personal change and growth. Years of intellectual risks and opportunities are before you for the taking,” Hsu said. “Take charge of your education and your future starting now, in this very moment. It’s your turn to discover yourself and identify what you want to get out of your college experience. So, take risks, seek out new experiences, develop relationships with people who are different from you.”
It’s a time of change and possibility, said Hsu.
“Students, I wish you all the best as you begin this journey of self-discovery,” he said. “May the coming years be rich in opportunity, profound in growth, and lasting in impact. Welcome to the College of Charleston! We’re glad you’re here, and remember: We’re in this together. Let’s do great things together!”
English professor Anton Vander Zee, who created the reading guide for this year’s The College Reads! selection, leads a discussion with students on Rising Out of Hatred. Photos by Heather Moran.
Faculty, staff and members of the College dance and cheerleading teams greet new students as they enter Cistern Yard through Porters Lodge to attend convocation. Photos by Heather Moran and Mike Ledford.
President Andrew T. Hsu and Interim Provost Fran Welch welcome the Class of 2023 during convocation ceremonies in Cistern Yard. Photos by Mike Ledford and Heather Moran.
Students sign the College of Charleston Cougar Commitment pledge during convocation. Photos by Mike Ledford.