First-Year Convocation brings excitement of new beginnings, experiences

Sep 1, 2013 | General News






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Over the past six years Louisiana Tech University’s First-Year Convocation has become a vital part of the Tech tradition – a rite of passage for new students making the transition from high school to college.

Louisiana Tech’s Division of Student Affairs and the Bulldog Achievement Resource Center (BARC) hosted this year’s event Wednesday, in Howard Auditorium on the Louisiana Tech campus.

Alumni, faculty and staff were on hand to greet the new Tech students as they emerged from Howard Auditorium after hearing welcoming remarks from President Les Guice, various university administrators, the Student Government Association president and notable alumni. The students then walked to the Lady of the Mist fountain and back to Centennial Plaza.

Tenet Medallions, bearing the 12 Tenets of Tech, were distributed to the freshman class at the beginning of the convocation.  At the conclusion of the event, they tossed the medallions into the Lady of the Mist to symbolize their commitment to their educations and to uphold the Tenets of Tech students. When the students graduate, the Tenet Medallions are returned to them with their year of graduation inscribed on the back. The tradition began in 2007 and the spring 2011 graduating class was the first to receive the Tenet Medallions.

“We are so excited to have an opportunity to welcome our first-year students to campus,” says Stacy Gilbert, director of co-curricular programs and disability services at Louisiana Tech. “The fact that the president, all of the vice-presidents and the deans are on hand to welcome shows just how much this university value its students.”

“We hope that this also is a way for them to meet other first-year students and begin the process of building their new social networks at college.”

The First-Year Convocation introduces new students to the First-Year Experience (FYE), a program designed around eight core initiatives that the university has adopted to acclimate entering freshmen to their new environment. The FYE also helps new students to understand their roles and responsibilities as members of the campus community, and what it means to be part of the “Tech Family.”

“We want our students to come away from this experience feeling that they are now truly a part of this wonderful university,” says Gilbert.  “Being a part of this university is not only a privilege but also a responsibility. That responsibility includes adding to its rich history and becoming part of its prestigious, accomplished, and active alumni community.”

Dean of Student Development Dr. Linda Griffin said participation by alumni is a crucial part of making the event successful.

“The First-Year Convocation is the first opportunity for all of our incoming freshmen to meet together in one place, and it may well be the last opportunity until commencement,” said Griffin.  “We hope to provide a warm, energetic and entertaining welcome to our newest Bulldogs. From the program in Howard Center to the symbolic medallion ceremony at the Lady of the Mist, and, finally, to the pep rally in Centennial Plaza, the goal will be to convey how excited we are to expand the Tech family.

“Participation among alumni has increased each year. These grads play an important role in cheering the freshmen to the medallion ceremony and helping them to realize that this is the beginning of a lifelong connection between the student and the Louisiana Tech Alumni Foundation.”

Written by T. Scott Boatright –