Semester kicks off with Convocation of 2021 class

Alex PalmieriNews Editor 

There were several people who encouraged the graduating class of 2021. Among those people were Dr. Maria Diamantis, president of the faculty senate.

Diamantis said to the freshman to achieve their goals if they know what they want to do. She said faculty puts their students ahead of everything and for all students to be aware of that and take advantage of it.     

“I know you are going to be anxious tomorrow when classes start,” said Diamantis, “but don’t because that’s when you find what you’re looking for. You’re supposed to know your goals and start achieving them starting tomorrow.”

She also encouraged all students to get involved with the university. She said faculty and students have a nice bond within the Southern community. Because of this, she said all students should be involved with clubs and that faculty members to get a better understanding of students when they contact each other.

“Please get involved,” said Diamantis. “Get to do everything that you hear about. You will be the educated citizen to carry on your goals, and, our own goals.”

Dr. Tracy Tyree, Vice President for student affairs, introduced a few freshmen students to light the flaming torch, which has been a symbol of knowledge.

“During my years as a student at Southern,” said Gagliardi,” the torch has guided my class in its pursuit of knowledge, which will accommodate my classmates and I who will receive my classmates and I at our commencement”

Tyree said it was her pleasure to be a part of this year’s new induction ceremony.

“Class of 2021,” said Tyree, “six of your classmates have been chosen to represent you and to present, on your behalf the resolutions of commitment, which articulate the core values of the university.”

As Tyree introduced them, they each lit their candle from the torch of knowledge. She sis this will pass on Southern’s ideals as articulated in the resolutions of commitment.

Tyree then asked all students in the graduating class of 2021 to rise, and pledge to the values of the Southern community: Excellence, diversity and inclusion, equality and access, social responsibility, student success and life-long learning.

President Joe Bertolino said this was a very exciting moment for the incoming freshmen to be a part of the university. There is a new home for the school of business, new academic programs, along with new opportunities that Bertolino said “will help you get the in demand jobs of tomorrow” along with introducing new opportunities for learning locally and across the globe.

“It takes awhile to know a new place, and, new people,” said Bertolino. “But for now, you’re experiencing a lot of feelings at this time. In fact, they can be a bit overwhelming.”

Bertolino said he has been the president of the university for over a year and still experiences these emotions as well, he said it is normal.

“You know what helped me? And it will help you,” said Bertolino, “always remember, you are not alone. Sure there will b challenges and obstacles along the way. But there are literally hundreds of people and resources this year to help assist you in facing those challenges head on.”

Photo Credit: Alex Palmieri 


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