The University of La Verne community gathered in the university's Sports Science and Athletics Pavilion on Wednesday, August 24 to celebrate the start of the academic year with the annual Convocation ceremony. This is the first time in two years this event has been held in-person, and the energy matched the occasion.
New and returning students streamed in from the university quad for the ceremony, waiving to faculty and staff and shouting joyous whoops.
Chaplain Zandra Wagoner delivered an invocation on themes of love and hope for a great new year. Provost Kerop Janoyan acknowledged the importance of community, traditions, and the university’s mission and values.
Two faculty recipients of the Excellence in Teaching Award also addressed students.
“It is your privilege and responsibility to immerse yourself within your community,” said Assistant Professor of Law Michele Assael-Shafia.
Associate Professor and Chair of Mathematics Gail Tang told students they should “take risks and be helpful” and “build bridges.”
President Devorah Lieberman took the stage afterward and shared a message she learned from her daughter. “Growth begins when comfort ends,” Lieberman said.
This academic year, the university is welcoming one of its largest and academically strongest freshman classes, along with a third consecutive year of near-record number first year law students.
Students are also returning to find new academic opportunities, such as the College of Health and Community Well-Being, the fifth and newest college to be established at the university.
The new academic year will continue with an assortment of events, including homecoming and family weekend from October 14 through 16. Classic events are returning, including the 5K Fun Run, street fair, student float parade, and football game.