Freshmen convocation looks for alumni participation

Aug 14, 2012 | General News

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, the night before Louisiana Tech freshmen will begin their journey in the college classroom, they come together as one in Howard Auditorium.
Convocation, an evening event created to welcome incoming freshmen into the Tech family, involves more than freshmen. Alumni, faculty and staff greet the new Tech students as they emerge from listening to welcomes from President Dan Reneau, other university administrators, the Student Government Association president and notable alumni in Howard Auditorium and walk to the Lady of the Mist fountain and back to Centennial Plaza.

Freshmen will place their medallion in the Lady of the Mist and receive it back at graduation.

Stacey Gilbert, director of co-curricular programming, and Dr. Linda Griffin, dean of student development, said that faculty, staff and alumni are encouraged to welcome these young Bulldogs and show them what it means to attend Tech.
“It’s all of us together,” Gilbert said. “The alumni welcome the freshmen, and they help connect the freshmen because they hand out the medallions.”
The medallions are handed out to each freshmen class during convocation, and the freshmen toss them in the Lady of the Mist. When they graduate, they are given the medallions to keep. This tradition began in 2007, and the spring 2011 graduating class was the first to receive the medallions back.
Gilbert said this is a chance for alumni to connect with their alma mater.
“We get to see through the eyes of freshmen every day,” she said. “We relive our college experiences every day. Our alumni don’t get that.”
Griffin said she believes volunteering for convocation is beneficial to more than just the incoming freshmen.
“Everyone has a story,” Griffin said. “We want our alumni to connect. We want to emphasize this lifelong connection.”
Griffin and Gilbert said convocation is an emotional experience.
“The alumni wish the students well,” Griffin said. “It’s very beautiful.”
Alumni who wish to participate as ushers in the convocation should contact Griffin at 318-257-2445. Those who wish to welcome students on the walk should contact Ryan Richard, director of alumni relations, at the Alumni Center at 318- 255-7950.