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Ithaca College to Greet Incoming Students with Academic Convocation and Community Picnic

ITHACA, NY — Ithaca College will officially welcome some 1,570 incoming first-year students to campus on Monday, Aug. 27, with the annual Convocation ceremony and community picnic. Convocation is slated to begin at 11 a.m. in Ben Light Gymnasium.

A long-standing custom, the event introduces new students to the Ithaca College learning community and helps to set an academic context for their college careers, which will culminate in the completion of degree requirements and Commencement ceremony.

President Tom Rochon will deliver the main address. Also offering remarks will be Marisa Kelly, provost and vice president for educational affairs; Thomas Grape ’80, chair of the Ithaca College Board of Trustees; and Robert Flaherty ’13, president of the Student Government Association.

Recognized at the ceremony will be the five recipients of the 2011–12 Faculty Excellence Awards, which honor demonstrated excellence in the areas of teaching, scholarship and service: Changhee Chun, associate professor of media arts, sciences, and studies; Jason Hamilton, associate professor of environmental studies and sciences; Eleanor Henderson, assistant professor of writing; Stephen Peterson, professor of music performance; and Stephen Sweet, associate professor of sociology.

Convocation will also include three brief presentations intended to provide a sense of the research and collaborative opportunities available to students.

  • Carole Dennis, associate professor of occupational therapy, with senior occupational science students Laura Maresciallo and Kathryn Martin.
  • Carol Jennings, director of the Park Media Lab, with senior cinema and photography majors Joshua Rimmey and Adam Spector, and sophomore documentary studies and production major Crystal Kayiza.
  • Jason Hamilton, associate professor of environmental studies and sciences, with 2012 environmental studies graduate Hannah Whitehead.

The annual community picnic — designed to bring first-year students closer together with faculty, staff and administrators — will be held on the academic quad (rain location: Terrace Dining Hall) immediately following the ceremony.

On their way to the picnic from Convocation, each incoming student will be handed a free reusable water bottle courtesy of Take Back the Tap, a student organization that advocates for tap water over bottled water as better for our health, wallets and the environment.

Members of the Class of 2016 will gather the following day in small groups with faculty and staff facilitators to discuss the First-Year Reading Initiative selection, “Ten Thousand Saints,” an award-winning novel by assistant professor of writing Eleanor Henderson. Classes for the fall semester begin on Wednesday, Aug. 29.