University of Lynchburg’s new students celebrated the beginning of their college experience Tuesday morning during convocation. Approximately 650 incoming students gathered in front of Hopwood Hall to learn more about what they can expect — and what their faculty, friends, and family expect for them — in the coming years.
LC President Dr. Kenneth R. Garren recounted the recent achievements of University of Lynchburg students, including academic accolades and athletic victories. “It is your turn to take part in all of these great things,” he said. “I want you and your experience at University of Lynchburg to be the very best. I want you to be champions in all that you do.”
He challenged the students to pay attention to the insights that LC faculty, staff, and coaches will guide them towards and to make friends with their fellow students. “We are here to inspire you as you will inspire us to walk together on the paths of discovery,” Dr. Garren said.
Rita Detwiler, LC’s vice president for enrollment management, summarized some of the new students’ past accomplishments, which include organizing a golf tournament that raised more than $37,000 for a cancer patient as well as presenting research at an international science competition.
“Your past actions prove your commitment to be highly engaged in your new community,” she said. “We know it is important for you to be engaged and make a difference.”
LC gives students many opportunities to stretch themselves and prepare for life, said Sean Austin ’16, president of the LC Student Government Association, “These faculty and staff are going to challenge you to be different and step outside the box,” he said. “They are passionate and they want to invest in us. They know that each and every one of you are going to go out into the world and are going to make a difference.”
Sammi Hoover ’09, ’11 MEd, who welcomed the students to the LC family on behalf of the Alumni Association, compared going to college to her first experience bungee jumping—while on a study abroad trip after her first year at LC. She was scared of heights, but her classmates gave her encouragement. “I did it because I trusted the staff would take care of me and the fellow Hornets who went before me came back ranting and raving about how much they loved it,” she said. “They said, ‘We promise you’ll love it if you just take the leap.’
“The faculty staff and your friends will take care of you,” she continued. “We will rant and rave all day long about how amazing this place is. We promise you: you will love it, if you will just leap.”
Dr. Danny Cline, a mathematics professor and the recipient of the 2015 Shirley E. Rosser Award for Excellence in Teaching, provided the keynote address for convocation, in which he advised that new students take advantage of the opportunities to learn and thrive, even if that means overcoming the inclination to seek leisure first.
“You need to first find something that’s truly important to you, something you deeply care about, that is worth learning — something you really love — and then work as hard as humanly possible to get good at it,” he said.
After Convocation, the new students continued a variety of activities to help them become acclimated to life at LC, including team building activities, fun and games, and community service.