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Ithaca College Opens 2011-12 Academic Year with Annual Convocation Ceremony

The new academic year at Ithaca College officially opened Monday during the annual Convocation ceremony at Ben Light Gymnasium. The event for IC’s freshmen was filled to capacity and was highlighted by speakers and short presentations of academic achievement.

During his address, President Tom Rochon used the Constantine Cavafy poem "Ithaca" to draw parallels to the challenges and opportunities facing the newest members of the College community. The opening lines read:

“When you set out for Ithaka
Ask that your way be long,
Full of adventure, full of instruction.”

Rochon added: "Your time here at IC is only a part of your journey. It is a journey that began well before you arrived on our campus and one that will continue long after we proudly call you alumni."

Prior to Rochon's speech, select professors and recent alumni made short presentations on their academic work. Topics ranged from forensic anthropology to research on diversity across campus. One presentation featured the story of a professor who is now a consultant for the hit TV show “Modern Family.”

Provost Marisa Kelly congratulated all of the presenters on their efforts and challenged the incoming class to strive for similar accomplishments.

"These are highlights — examples — of the kind of work that we hope all of you will be pursuing in your own ways given your own interests and learning objectives," she said.

Student Government Association President Scott Nachlis '12 also spoke to those gathered. "College is all about taking the first step, whether it is into a classroom, organizational meeting, or a fellow student's dorm room to meet people."

Lawrence Alleva '71, the vice chair of the board of trustees, echoed those sentiments. "Get to know the people here on campus, as well as the many loyal alumni and friends of the college. Seek new knowledge, explore new experiences in and out of the classroom, and take advantage of the many opportunities that Ithaca has to offer."

Convocation was immediately followed by a community picnic, where students, faculty and staff mingled and ate lunch on the Campus Center Quad. There was a live performance from Ithacappella and music was provided by campus radio station WICB.