By Steven Krolak
(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)—Over 800 students, along with their families and friends, packed the IU Southeast Activities Center on Friday, August 19 for the traditional Induction Day ceremony.
Induction, also known as convocation, is the first bookend of a new student’s college career, which ends at the other bookend, graduation.
Induction can be a solemn occasion, but on this day, students enjoyed a festive atmosphere featuring inspiring speeches, selfies from the stage and even an audience-participation performance of The Wave.
Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Uric Dufrene led off the ceremony, encouraging students to think of their college education as a partnership.
“We are here to provide an environment that both challenges and supports you, and that gives you opportunities to grow personally and professionally,” he said. “Your role is to challenge yourself, your classmates and yes, even your faculty members to high standards of academic achievement.”
Dufrene introduced the class to the IU Southeast community, a class that ranges in age from 17 to 70 and includes individuals from 10 states and 10 countries. Over 36% of the class identifies as first-generation college students.
Keynote speaker was Julian Glover, anchor-reporter for WAVE-3 News in Louisville, Ky. A native of Florida, Glover has covered stories ranging from crime and whale strandings to college basketball scandals and the passing of Muhammad Ali. His primary interest is covering technology, politics, consumer advocacy and breaking news.
Glover suggested keys to success that included embracing the difficulty of college-level work, choosing friends wisely, and acting intentionally and courageously. He also urged students to pick themselves up after setbacks.
“No one will ever count the number of times you fail, as long as the number of times you get back up outnumbers the times you fall,” he said.
Finally, Glover challenged the students to build a strong social ethic, and to use their learning to help those who need it most.
“Wake up every day with the will, the drive and the mission to make this world a better place than it was when you laid your head down to rest the night before,” Glover said.
Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Dr. Jason Meriwether challenged the new students to get involved in one or more of IU Southeast’s 130 student organizations, or to start one themselves, and to take advantage of the many services offered by the university, including childcare, the Career Development Center, the Center for Mentoring and the Adult Student Center.
“Your time between now and graduation will be the time of your life,” Meriwether said.
Representing the student body, Student Council President Quintera Quinn exhorted the incoming students to commit to learning, to prioritize and to get involved.
“College is all about learning and most of the learning you do will be about yourself,” Quinn said. “While it’s natural to be afraid of change, change is necessary and will help you in the long run.”
After Alumni Board Chairman Dr. John Crase led the assembly in a recitation of the IU Southeast affirmation and a brief pinning ceremony, Chancellor Dr. Ray Wallace concluded the event by leading an impromptu mass wave, before encouraging students to dream big.
“This university helps great students become greater citizen leaders by acquiring life-long learning strategies and philosophies,” Wallace said.
Following the ceremony, students walked to the University Center for the student involvement fair, passing through the trademark IU Southeast “gauntlet,” where faculty and staff welcomed the newcomers with high-fives and applause.
Homepage photo by Patrick Pfister.