Fairmont State’s Feaster Center was filled with anticipation and excitement Friday afternoon when hundreds of new students gathered to officially mark the beginning of their journeys as members of the Falcon Family at the University’s annual Convocation Ceremony.
“You have started this journey together, and you will finish this journey together,” said Fairmont State University President, Mirta M. Martin, to those in attendance.
Throughout the ceremony, members of campus leadership welcomed the Class of 2025 by encouraging new students to seek the wisdom of the University’s faculty and introducing them to the staff who will help them through every aspect of their student experience, from academics, financial aid and housing to athletics, information technology and more. Dr. Chuck Shields, Professor of Criminal Justice and Faculty Senate President, also offered sage advice to the students as they sat before him, ready to embark on the next chapter of their lives.
“Life is an adventure, and your time here will be a part of that adventure,” said Shields. “Make the most it.”
Later, Student Government Association President Zach Taylor led the new students through their recital of the University’s academic oath ahead of their participation in a candlelight ceremony which signified the passing of the torch of knowledge from the senior class to the entering freshman class.
“I encourage you to keep the flame alive in your heart,” President Martin told students as they carried on the tradition. “When times get dark, when you’re confused in class or anxious about what academic path to take, I want you to recall the power of this flame, its warmth and its brightness and our commitment to help you, to stand by you and to show you the way today, tomorrow and always.”
Earlier in the week, new and returning students alike reunited on the University’s hilltop campus for a series of Welcome Week events which included residence hall move-in, cornhole tournaments, student organization and resource fairs, a campus-wide picnic and more. Welcome Week concluded Sunday evening with a Back-to-School Bash, hosted by the Student Government Association, where students enjoyed food trucks, live music and lawn games before attending classes Monday morning to kick off the academic year.
“It was my pleasure to welcome all of the new students to their new home,” said Taylor. “I never imagined when I was sitting in their seats that I would have that opportunity. If the rest of the year is anything like Welcome Week, then it really will be a bash. I can’t wait to get to know all of these new faces.”