August 24, 2018
“At Ursinus, you have the chance to develop a fundamental, life-altering curiosity, a hunger to learn more about the world,” President Brock Blomberg told the first-year students in his opening remarks during the ceremony in Bomberger Hall.
“I urge you to take that chance, starting here, today,” Blomberg said. “Soon you will realize just how empowered you are to create your own path forward and to make the most of your academic experience. As you expand that curiosity, remember that sometimes the greatest learning occurs at the intersection of disciplines. You are not defined or limited by one area of study. You’re here because you have many interests and many skills. You’re thoughtful innovators and you will become influencers in our society.”
The theme of courage, curiosity and risk-taking continued throughout the morning from the inspirational words from members of the Ursinus community.
Recalling her own convocation, Rebecca Jaroff ’81, an associate professor of English, recounted her own time as a student at Ursinus and the courage it took to take a chance on a new path in life, from television production professional to English scholar and professor.
Julin Everett, an assistant professor of modern languages, encouraged everyone to be curious and courageous as they approach and learn from others, despite differences in background and beliefs.
“You can spend four comfortable years sitting in Wismer with people who look like you, dress the same as you and have the same beliefs as you, or you could be courageous,” she said, challenging the students to step out of their comfort zones and experience other cultures while also engaging in thoughtful discussions with peers who may have differing opinions.
And Terri Ofori, director of religious and spiritual life, likened the class to a caterpillar— before transforming into a butterfly, yet yearning to fly—stating, “You will become what you don’t think you can become.”
The annual ceremony also honored this year’s winner of the first-year advising award, Louise Woodstock, a professor of media and communication studies. The award is given to a nominated faculty member who represents the best in first-year advising, according to their students and peers.
Students filed out of Bomberger Hall after the ceremony and were met by a gauntlet of faculty, staff, and student leaders who cheered as each member of the class of 2022, officially started their journey as brand new Bears, a tradition that will be repeated upon their graduation in four years. —By Mary Lobo ’15