By Bailey Morrison
FSU held its annual convocation ceremony to welcome the first-year class and transfer students on Sept. 4 in DPAC. Approximately 100 students attended.
The keynote speaker, English professor Patricia Lynne, urged students to try classes and extracurricular activities that are unfamiliar to them.
Lynne was the recipient of the Dr. Robert A. Martin Outstanding First-Year Advocate Award for her continued work with first-year and transfer students in her expository and introduction to college writing classes, as well as her role in administering the writing placement exams.
Ben Trapanick, director of first-year programs, presented Lynne with the award and said she embodies the University’s motto: “Live to the truth.”
He said, “The recipients of this award are known for their tireless efforts for success for all students and also for those who focus on the needs of first-year students.”
He added Lynne has worked hard to advocate for all first-year students and provides a learning environment conducive to growth.
Lynne asked the students in the audience to consider why they were attending college and to think beyond just obtaining a degree.
She said, “There’s nothing wrong with that – keep your eye on the prize. But, I’m going to let you in on a secret – your graduation is at least a few years away.”
She added, “Instead, I want you to think about now, and next year. The years before you get your degree. What are you going to do in the intervening years?”
Lynne said she was a first-generation college student who had been successful academically in high school but didn’t truly understand the “college experience.”
She advised students to be active on campus. She emphasized the importance of campus events, clubs, and volunteer opportunities as a way to enhance the college experience. She said her willingness to try new jobs and organizations led her to her first job after college.
Lynne urged students to “join something!”
President F. Javier Cevallos said, “I have no doubt that each of you are bright, intelligent, hard-working individuals.”
He added, “At Framingham, you will tackle new and exciting challenges. Some will be academic, and some will be related to your new level of independence. I promise you that if you work hard, you will have every opportunity to thrive here.”
Cevallos said the first year of college is often the most challenging because students are adjusting to a new lifestyle and new-found independence. He suggested students take advantage of resources available on campus such as CASA and Career Services.
He added one of the most important aspects of the college experience is partaking in campus clubs and activities. “These are the best ways to make new friends and engage in the campus community.”
Cevallos said if any student encountered an issue or had questions, they could email him personally and he would reply to each email.
Cevallos urged students to reach out to professors and administrators when issues arise. “We want you truly to feel like part of the FRAMily.”
Freshman Jordan Bacci said it was “good to hear. I liked that they all had accessibility in mind for all first-years.”
Sophomore and transfer student Ben Reppert said, “It was very important to hear from the professors.”
He added, “I’m looking forward to making new friends!”
Freshman Denzer Jean Francois said the ceremony was very welcoming and he “feels like a part of the campus community already.”
Madison Brown, a freshman, said, “This got me really thinking about the next four years. I want to be a sports nutritionist, so I need to work hard.”
[Editor’s Note: Jordan Bacci is a staff copywriter for The Gatepost.]