The students were followed by the IC West African Drum and Dance Ensemble, which led in the procession of faculty and staff. Twenty-eight flags flanked the stage, each one representing a country or territory of origin for the class’s 43 international students.
Provost La Jerne Terry Cornish, who is also in her first year at the college, delivered the welcoming remarks. She praised the faculty’s ability to ensure that students will be both prepared professionally and able to “view the world through a variety of perspectives.” Cornish also urged the students to use their heads, hands and hearts to make the most of their IC experience.
“It eased my nerves. It’s good to know I’m not the only one feeling homesick."Genesis Sanchez '22, Houston, Texas.
David Lissy '87, chairman of the IC Board of Trustees, shared memories of his time on South Hill. “IC has become a life-long love affair for me, with an intellectual, professional, and personal impact that I could have never dreamed of 35 years ago,” he said. He specifically recalled meeting the woman who would become his wife in the elevator of East Tower, to cheers from the crowd.
Welcoming students to the IC family
Lissy then introduced President Shirley M. Collado, who welcomed the students to the Ithaca College family and issued them a challenge: “The next four years will require you to dive in to your life as you have never done before,” she said. “Your IC experience does more than deliver an opportunity for an education. It empowers you to use your knowledge to drive forward the promise of our society and the necessity of centering our shared humanity in a world that can be deeply inhumane at times.”
Joining Collado onstage were faculty and staff from departments from across the campus, including facilities, information technology, and public safety, as well as Luvelle Brown, superintendent of the Ithaca City School District and a new member of the college’s Board of Trustees.
“[These 10 people] represent an entire college community that looks forward to helping you have the experience of a lifetime at Ithaca College. A community willing to not only support you as you adapt and create, but to help you succeed — on our campus and throughout your lives,” Collado said.
Jill Mayer ’09, DPT ’11, clinical assistant professor of physical therapy in the School of Health Sciences and Human Performance, read a poem she wrote, which urged students to be bold and brave while remaining true to themselves.
Advice from a fellow student
The morning’s final speaker was Student Governance Council President Alyse Harris ’19, who reflected upon her feelings of trepidation as a first-year student coming to Ithaca from Colorado. She shared how the college community helped her reach her goals. “Here I learned the importance of pushing myself by surrounding myself with people who encouraged me to do my best, challenged me to think differently, and reminded me to follow my heart,” she said.
Following the speakers, the ceremony was closed by the Ithaca College Choir leading the incoming class in learning the alma mater, “Ithaca Forever.”
Genesis Sanchez, a first-year business student from Houston, Texas, commented on how welcoming the event was. “It eased my nerves. It’s good to know I’m not the only one feeling homesick,” she said.
Another first-year student, Lenora Croley from Cincinnati, Ohio, said she was excited about getting to know new people, and Convocation provided an opportunity to do that. “I felt like I learned a lot about the professors and staff,” she said. “Everyone seemed really relatable.”
Read more about the Class of 2022.