By Steven Krolak
(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)—Incoming students, along with their families and friends, gathered in the IU Southeast Activities Center on Friday, August 23 for the traditional Induction Day ceremony.
Induction is the beginning of the student journey that will culminate in graduation.
Helped along by staff and student volunteers, as well as members of Greek organizations and Crimson Crew, the ceremony mixed academic gravitas with selfies and several successful attempts at The Wave.
After a hearty welcome from Chancellor Dr. Ray Wallace, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Uric Dufrene led off the ceremony.
Dufrene introduced the class to the IU Southeast community, a class that ranges in age from 16 to 59 and includes individuals from nine states and 15 countries. About 35% of the class identify as first-generation college students.
Dufrene encouraged the students to think of their educational journey as a partnership between themselves and IU Southeast.
Keynote speaker was Dr. Joey Rivera, IU Southeast alumnus and president/CEO of Rivera Group, as well as a retired Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel and a member of the IU Southeast Board of Advisors.
Rivera recounted his journey from difficult beginnings to turning his life around in the U.S. Marine Corps, earning a GED and enrolling at IU Southeast. He counseled students to find their own way to learn and succeed, to ask for help when they need it, and to get involved in activities and student organizations.
“Active people are successful people,” Rivera said.
Representing the student body was Sidney Blair, a senior from Louisville, Ky. majoring in psychology.
Blair is an executive member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, as well as Crimson Crew, and serves as a mentor for Indiana Kids Mentoring and the Center for Mentoring at IU Southeast.
She shared experiences and practical advice with incoming students.
“You’re on this journey to better your education and work towards you future,” Blair said. “By believing in yourselves, you will be able to overcome any obstacle standing in your way.”
Alumni Board President Marguerite Stearns led the assembly in a recitation of the IU Southeast affirmation and a brief pinning ceremony.
In closing, Chancellor Wallace encouraged the incoming students to make the most of the opportunity to learn at IU Southeast.
“From here, with hard work, you can become anyone you want to be,” Wallace said. “Don’t forget to dream big.”
Following the ceremony, students walked to the University Center for the student involvement fair, passing through the trademark IU Southeast high-five line where faculty and staff extended a warm Grenadier welcome.
Homepage photo: The high-five line is a tradition at IU Southeast. Photo by Reggie Watkins, courtesy of IU Southeast Office of Marketing & Communications.