Summer is almost here, but it's time to think about convocation

Convocation 2016

The University of Oregon is changing its approach to convocation, UO’s first tradition of the academic year, and encouraging all faculty and staff members to join in the event.

On Friday, Sept. 21, Matthew Knight Arena will not only be the epicenter of the new student experience, as Week of Welcome comes to a close and first-time Ducks prepare to launch their academic career, but also a time for current faculty members and staff to join a full-scale welcome to new peers.

“This year's convocation represents a renewal,” said Dennis Galvan, interim vice provost and dean of undergraduate studies. “It has been re-established as a presidential initiative with a renewed focus on academics, tying closely to President (Michael) Schill and our collective goals around student success and academic excellence. We want to get our new Ducks started off right and emphasize the academic in ‘academic journey.’”

Convocation is a time to “celebrate our shared sense of purpose around exceptional teaching, discovery and service,” Galvan said.

The event will highlight campus achievements, including:

  • Recognition of award-winning faculty members, including winners of campuswide awards such as the Fund for Faculty Excellence and the Distinguished Teaching Awards. 
  • A student keynote address by German major and Clark Honors College student Alex Mentzel, who will discuss his recent research in Germany as part of the DAAD scholarship and his upcoming theater production in Eugene. 
  • An external keynote address that will be announced this summer.
  • Introduction of new faculty members, including tenure-track and career nontenure-track faculty members.
  • The official welcoming of new students to the campus community, including the Class of 2022 and transfer students from across the state and nation.

“Everyone is invited, as we are working to build a strong buzz around this important celebration,” Galvan said. “Any member of the UO community who has a bachelor’s degree or higher is invited to wear academic regalia for this event. In some ways, we want it to feel like graduation, so that our incoming students know what they’re working towards for the four years.”

The specific time on Sept. 21 is yet to be determined but will be announced later this summer. Look to Around the O for updates.