Convocation welcomes freshmen into Tech family

Sep 6, 2012 | General News

Louisiana Tech’s freshmen class of 2012 gathered together in Howard Auditorium Wednesday night to continue a Tech tradition – convocation.
Convocation was started in 2007 to encourage the incoming freshmen before classes start the next day. Students were welcomed by President Dan Reneau, university officials, the Student Government Association and notable alumni before walking to the Lady of the Mist fountain to toss their medallion into her waters. They will get the medallion back upon graduation.
“I heard this was a fun event,” said incoming freshmen Seth Nichols, of Ruston. “I heard you hear important speakers and get to toss a coin in the fountain.”
Amy Dousay, an incoming freshmen from West Monroe, said her mother encouraged her to come to convocation.
“I heard a lot about it, and my mom thought it would be a good experience for me,” she said. “I get really emotional with all this stuff.”
As the students threw their medallions into the fountain, alumni lined the walkway from Howard Auditorium to the Lady of the Mist to welcome the freshmen.
“My son’s a freshmen this year,” said Diane Anderson, of Calhoun, who has two degrees from Louisiana Tech. “This is my first time.”
Shirley Weaver, of Ruston, graduated in 1969 and said she this was her fourth time to participate in convocation and said she wished more alumni would come to it.
“I felt it was a good thing,” Weaver said. “I wish it would have been around when I was here.”
Sonja Bailes, a 1992 journalism graduate, and Jerry Hudson, the 2011 Alumnus of the Year, served as guest speakers for the event.
Hudson discussed the 12 tenets of Tech, which students receive monthly in an email.
“These are all very worthwhile,” Hudson, a 1961 graduate, said. “I feel they are interwoven and important. All of the tenets are valuable. If you incorporate them into your life, you’ll be a better student and a great citizen.”
Bailes discussed the freshmen common read, “This I Believe II,” which is a book all freshmen will be required to read. She said just like the individuals who wrote essays for the book, everyone has a story to tell.
“Since I graduated from Tech, I have had a lot of assignments,” Bailes said. “When you leave college, the assignments don’t end.”
Bailes said she had interviewed heads of state and celebrities, but her favorite stories were the ones of everyday individuals.
“I believe everyone has a story waiting to be told,” she said. “The people with the most interesting stories are those you meet in everyday life. That’s the story I want to tell.
“You’re about to begin writing your story. We all want to make a difference. Only you can write your story, and it begins now.”