Students Participate in Matriculation Convocation
August 25, 2014
ALLIANCE, Ohio — New freshmen at the University of Mount Union participated in a long-standing tradition on Sunday as the University community officially welcomed the Class of 2018 to campus during the annual Matriculation Convocation ceremony.
Matriculation Convocation is an opportunity for faculty members and freshman students to officially usher in the academic year. New students were welcomed by Dr. Patricia Draves, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the University, and were greeted by Dr. Richard F. Giese, president of Mount Union.
“Your time at Mount Union is a time for exploration,” said Draves. “There is so much around you to discover … this year will be filled with all things new – some will be challenging and at times it may seem overwhelming, but I assure you, it’s nothing you can’t handle.”
Giese said there are approximately 700 new students on campus this year and around 1,450 returning students. He noted that members of the Class of 2018 come from Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. Those from Ohio come from 56 different counties representing 298 high schools. In addition to the U.S., this year’s students come from Austria, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Spain and the United Kingdom.
"We are truly a student-focused institution,” Giese said. “With every effort, whether it be a new program, a new building or a new opportunity, you, our students, are at the forefront of our thoughts.”
Dr. Mandy Capel, associate professor of education and 2014 Great Teacher, shared words of wisdom with students on what it means to earn a degree.
“What I hope you think about after today is that a degree holds many invisible disclaimers,” Capel said. “Your privilege of earning a degree is to ‘do good’ with that degree: to elevate not only your life, but the lives of others … I challenge you over the next four years to look inward, look outward and enroll in some courses that will challenge your thinking to help bring understanding to some of life’s complexities.”
Mount Union senior Emily Phillip, a history major of Westlake, Ohio, and president of Student Senate, encouraged students to get involved on campus and take advantage of every opportunity available.
"The options (for involvement) are endless, and these activities provide a number of benefits along with the ‘having fun’ part of my advice,” she said. “They build leadership skills, develop social responsibility, enhance spiritual growth and provide opportunities to practice all you learn in the classroom.”
Alumni Association representative Bill Schumacher ’82 encouraged students to stay connected, both while a student and after graduation.
“It seems like only yesterday that I was sitting where you are today, eagerly anticipating the opportunities ahead of me,” Schumacher said. “What I did not realize at the time was how connected I would become to this institution – the lifelong friends that I would make, the faculty who would impact my life and the career path I would eventually find. Mount Union is truly a community of individuals who support one another and share a common passion for the institution that is a ‘home away from home.’”
After learning about the significance of the event from Draves, students had an opportunity to sign the Matriculation Book. Signing the book is a pledge that students will dedicate their efforts and talents to excellence in liberal learning and career preparation. The book, which remains in the care of the Office of the President until graduation, will be on display in the University Store during graduation week in 2018 for students to see.