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Lycoming College ushered in the class of 2023 and transfer students during its annual New Student Convocation on Friday, Aug. 23. The annual ceremony, which kicks off the beginning of each academic year, was held on the College’s Fultz Quadrangle. The Class of 2023 has the strongest academic credentials of any incoming class in more than a decade, with 25 percent of students ranking in the top decile of their high school class — six percentage points above average for freshmen classes of the past decade.
Convocation commenced with the opening of the David B. Sykes gates by the student senate officers, followed by a procession of the new students to the Quad. There, they were joined by the College’s president, faculty and staff in academic regalia. The event was celebrated both near and far by parents and family members, with those not able to be there in person invited to watch via livestream.
Jalen Williams, a junior criminal justice major from Annapolis, Md., and president of student senate, addressed the new students on behalf of the student body. Williams provided words of encouragement to ease the transition into a new phase of life, “I can promise you although the classes may be challenging, and the nights will be long, know that as long as you Think Deeply and Act Boldly your life at Lycoming College will bring you nothing but success."
President Kent Trachte, Ph.D., touched on the importance of a liberal arts education and how it prepares students to navigate the world. “We are committed to creating an environment that values the free exchange of ideas. We debate vigorously, but we respect those with whom we disagree. Don’t hesitate to express your point of view but do so in a way that respects others and their viewpoints,” said Trachte. “Be open to the possibility that your views may evolve or change. Conduct your discussions in and out of the classroom in a spirit of mutual respect. Embrace the values of the liberal arts that lie at the heart of Lycoming College.”
Chriss McDonald, Ph.D., Frank and Helen Lowry Professor of chemistry and chair of the faculty, delivered the faculty address. McDonald presented to the incoming class three general goals to carry throughout college and the life they create after earning their degree: pursue long-term happiness, become a lifelong learner, and make a contribution to society.
The event concluded with remarks from Lycoming’s dean of first-year students, Andrew Kilpatrick and the students first ever rendition of the Alma Mater as members of the Lycoming College community.