U welcomes new students at convocation

Peter Johnson

Northrop Auditorium was filled to near capacity Tuesday evening, as the University held its third annual New Student Convocation.
The presentation is part of an ongoing effort by the University to welcome new students, enlighten them about the history and accomplishments of the University and instill school spirit and pride.
The opening speaker was “John Sargent Pillsbury,” who was “brought back to life” through reenactment, to tell students of technological advances made at the University, such as retractable seat belts and the indestructible black flight box.
Pillsbury created an endowment that substantially contributed to the development of the University during its first few years.
An academic procession followed, showcasing some of the top administration and faculty. The group included teaching-award winners, members of the Board of Regents, and University President Mark Yudof.
Executive Vice President and Provost Bob Bruininks welcomed students and joked about the myriad of paperwork the University requires.
“You are now at the beginning of an adventure,” Bruininks said.
Yudof spoke of the University’s strengths and accomplishments, talking about the school’s high academic rankings in a recently released report.
Yudof described the University as “a great faculty with great facilities and a great service attitude toward students.”
He also illustrated the improvements made to the campus, touching on the renovation of classrooms, new residence halls, computer labs and a new studio arts building.
Yudof made recommendations to the new students, focusing on social life, family and academic integrity.
“It’s absolutely critical to have balance in your life: you need a social life and to take your classes and studies seriously,” Yudof said.
“You’re the best prepared freshman class in our history,” Yudof added as part of his advice.
As the event drew to a close, the University Marching Band entered the auditorium, inspiring the singing of the alma mater and the school rouser.
Festivities continued in the fieldhouse, as students had the opportunity to get involved with groups and clubs.
In addition, they listened to advice from six former first-year students: Dave Burlingame from the College of Human Ecology, Bonita Mohamed from the College of Liberal Arts, Geoff Gunkler from CLA, Samantha Pace from CLA/Pre-Med, John Cahoy from the Institute of Technology and Sarah Bly from the Carlson School of Management.
The convocation was part of a week of welcoming activities for incoming freshmen.

Pete Johnson covers student life and welcomes comments at (612) 627-4070 x3238.