Convocation kicks off new academic year at Mansfield

MANSFIELD – The 159th academic year at Mansfield University got underway with convocation on Aug. 21.

Karen Guenther, professor of History, was the featured speaker for the ceremony.

In her address, “Beginning the Quest,” Guenther recalled her own journey as a first generation college student and offered this advice.

“Take advantages of the opportunities available to you, join a club or organization, travel the world – either through study abroad or spring break travel opportunities, become engaged in the campus and local community and participate in service projects,” she said. “Become someone who, in the future, will look back fondly on your experiences at Mansfield University, both academic and extracurricular, and the people you met on your quest.”

Using MU President Fran Hendricks, a 1979 Mansfield graduate, as an example, Guenther told the students, “You too, can grow up to be president. But first, you have to go to class, you have to do your work, and you have to accept the challenge and begin the quest to be the best student you can be.”

President Hendricks welcomed the campus community to the beginning of a new academic year and addressed most of his remarks toward the incoming freshman class.

He recalled being in their position 41 years ago as an incoming freshman at Mansfield and told them, “Success at Mansfield prepares you for success at life. It’s all about balance. Plan to work hard while always finding time to have fun.”

Convocation is presented by the Mansfield University Senate. The event was held at Kelchner Fitness Center due to the ongoing renovation of Straughn Hall.

Following Convocation, a picnic for students, faculty and staff was held on the Student Mall.

MU welcomed its newest students to campus on Aug. 20.

The “Fast Track” program, implemented by the Student Affairs Division and Housing, Dining & Residence Life staff, featured an army of students, led by members of Greek organizations, ROTC, 101st Leadership Group, plus staff, greeting the new students and their parents at entry ways and parking lots to help move personal items to their residence hall suite quickly, making for a much less stressful move-in day.

The new students take part in a series of orientation activities and events throughout the weekend to help prepare them for college life.

Classes began Aug. 24.