University Convocation Inspires Thoughts of Hope, Change in New Roosevelt Students

By: Tom Cicero

The annual Roosevelt Convocation welcomed new students into the Roosevelt family with open arms.

Provost Doug Knerr kicked off the event by encouraging students to get to know faculty and staff members. He asked students to take time to utilize office hours and form connections that will turn teachers into lifelong mentors.

Jeff Edwards, associate professor of political science, reiterated the importance of students getting to know their professors. He welcomed students to visit at any time.

President of the Chicago Student Government Association Joseph Knotts followed Edwards. Knotts stated, “The university can change you in an uncommon way.”

He explained how Roosevelt can shape students to become fighters.

“We need fighters in every sphere to fight for justice,” he said.

He also discussed the importance relationships have in forming a new student’s character. He said aside from meeting a lot of agreeable people, he hopes new students meet people who challenge them.

“The key to growing is to challenge and be challenged,” Knotts said.

President Chuck Middleton rounded off the ceremony by officially welcoming students to the university. Middleton then gave praise for his fellow staff members and stated that Roosevelt is “only as good as its people.” He also talked about his hopes for this year’s incoming freshmen.

He said his greatest hope was for the university to form “socially conscious” students. The importance of students working together recurred in his speech.

“We all have to work together to shape our own destiny,” Middleton said.

The speech aimed to inspire new students and give them hope. Among those students was freshman Noah Levitin who said, “I’ll succeed here.”

Sharing his sentiments was transfer student Donovan Snyder.

“The speech was really great and out of the box,” he said. “It was infused with inspiration.”

Another transfer student, Kevin Hujar, said that the speech was well put together.

“It was one of the better sermons I’ve been to,” he said.

President Middleton concluded his speech with a question aimed at all students: “How will you change the world?”

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