New Students Welcomed at Convocation
NEWARK, OH, Aug. 22, 2017 — Today is the first day of classes for students at The Ohio State University at Newark, but new freshman received their official welcome at yesterday’s Convocation. This year’s event was the largest in school history and included the traditional procession of robed faculty, singing of “Carmen Ohio” and a few rounds of “O-H…I-O.” This year, however, started a new tradition: the bridge walk. Nearly 750 students made the symbolic march to mark the beginning of their college journey.
“While many traditions are steadfast and consistent, the truth is that traditions are not final. As one chapter closes and another begins, traditions can be revised or newly created, adapting for the current situation,” said Holly Mason, director of student life. “Although this tradition is new for Ohio State Newark, hundreds of thousands of Buckeyes before you have made a similar journey, crossing the bridge from high school or previous careers or life in the military, forging a path for you to be here today.”
Students departed Adena Hall where Convocation was held and crossed over the bridge at McConnell Point where faculty handed out scarlet and gray tassels. The tassels represent the end goal, said Mason. She encouraged students to place their tassels in a visible location as a reminder that their hard work will result in graduation.
Students also heard from Dean/Director William L. MacDonald and Associate Professor of African American and African Studies Tiyi Morris, Ph.D.
“You are part of a student body that is incredibly diverse, the most diverse of any Ohio State campus. We celebrate that diversity because, although you are certainly going to learn from all of us up here on this platform, the sea of diversity in which you are swimming will present amazing opportunities for you to learn from each other,” said MacDonald.
“To all of our first-years, I challenge you to find someone who seems to be different from you and ask them about their lives. We are all Buckeyes. We are diverse and we are one.”
Some students were following MacDonald’s advice before dinner. Anna Gayheart, a nursing major from Bexley, made a new friend at Convocation and was excited to start the school year in Newark.
“I’m not nervous at all. I know when I walk into that room I will be front and center,” said Gayheart. “I would love to graduate from Ohio State. All my family went here; my mom went here. It’s a legacy for us. I hope to carry on that tradition.”
As another year kicks off, Gayheart and all Ohio State Newark students are certain to become part of old traditions and develop a few new ones of their own. Welcome Week is underway now, on Friday the Jane C. and William T. McConnell Residence Hall will be ceremoniously dedicated, and in four years students will look at their tassel and hopefully remember the day they became a Buckeye at Ohio State Newark.
The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It’s where learning comes to life. Research, study abroad and service learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.