By Steven Krolak
(NEW ALBANY, Ind.)—Incoming students, along with their families and friends, joined the first-ever virtual IU Southeast Induction Day ceremony.
Induction is the beginning of the student journey that will culminate in graduation.
After a welcome from Chancellor Dr. Ray Wallace, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Kelly Ryan introduced the class to the IU Southeast community. It’s a class that ranges in age from 16 to 56, and includes individuals from 11 states and 18 countries. About 32% of the class identify as first-generation college students.
Ryan noted the unusual circumstances of the present moment, and paid tribute to the incoming students’ desire to succeed amid uncertainty.
She detailed the university’s efforts to provide the same level of academic instruction while taking steps to re-invent the classroom experience and provide a safe learning and campus environment.
While reassuring students and parents, Ryan also stressed the impact that higher education can have in a time of crisis as the foundation for solutions to global challenges.
“Now more than ever we are grateful for the energy, enthusiasm and creativity that you are bringing to campus,” Ryan said. “Together, we will accomplish great things.”
Representing the student body was Hannah Shaffer, a senior majoring in business with concentrations in human resources and management and a minor in accounting. She has been involved with the IU Southeast Honors Program, Crimson Crew, the Peer Mentoring Program, and the IU Southeast student chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Hannah is also a Chancellor’s Medallion Scholar.
Shaffer shared personal experiences and practical advice for a successful college career, encouraging incoming students to meet their faculty members, stay connected with one another, resist distractions and get involved.
Shaffer recognized the students’ resilience and urged them to rise to the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic.
“You’re in exactly the right place to thrive despite the obstacles that may feel a little overwhelming at times,” Shaffer said. “IU Southeast’s core values are integrity, a nurturing environment, connectedness, and holistic learning. In a time like this, these values could not be more important to uphold.”
In closing, Chancellor Wallace encouraged the incoming students to make the most of the opportunity to learn at IU Southeast.
“Do not forget to continue to dream big,” Wallace said. “Stick with it, work hard, have fun, be proud that you are an IU student, and plan for your future.”