The University of La Verne officially welcomed its 124th academic year Sept. 2 at the Sports Science and Athletics Pavilion.
The ringing of the spirit bell, known as the “Call to the Leo Community” gathered students, parents, faculty and staff for convocation.
“It’s a heartwarming tradition that allows us to open our arms to the new students,” said Kolini Coleman, senior criminology major.
New students and University faculty entered the Athletics Pavilion in procession with celebratory music provided by the West African Drum Ensemble.
Master of ceremonies, Provost Jonathan Reed, welcomed the audience and reminded students and faculty of La Verne’s four core values: ethical reasoning, diversity, civic engagement and lifelong learning.
Loren Dyck, assistant professor of management, served as this year’s convocation speaker. Dyck encouraged students to be curious this school year.
He said that curiosity is synonymous with intrigue and can ultimately help students with learning.
“Essentially, curiosity is candy for the brain as it drives learning, passion and creativity,” Dyck said.
Dyck ended his speech by encouraging everyone to use their curiosity for learning, the good of others and for contributing in positive ways.
Jennifer Mojarro, associate director of career services, was inspired by Dyck’s speech.
“I thought it was a good message to send to everyone,” she said. “It gets students to start exploring their careers.”
“It encouraged new students to explore opportunities at La Verne,” said associate director of residential education Eugene Shang.
The Lordsburg Brothers then entertained the audience with a musical performance of “I’m Going to Live Until I Die.”
Many students were in attendance, along with student athletes, to welcome the incoming freshman class.
President Devorah Lieberman welcomed new students and delivered a message to the University community.
In her speech, Lieberman discussed six variables that she said lead to higher retention rates.
The variables she mentioned are: having at least one professor who inspires you and acts as a mentor as well as cares about you as a person and having a semester long project, internship or job that allows you to apply what you have learned in the University and involvement in co-curriculars.
Lieberman revealed that all are present in La Verne’s curriculum.
The class of 2019 also took the new student pledge led by the ASULV president, senior communications major Lauren Crumbaker.
As a gift, the new students were given a tassel to symbolize their ultimate goal: receiving their degree and graduating from the University.
Provost Reed then closed the ceremony with well wishes for all for the new academic year.
Ruby Montaño-Cordova, associate dean of student affairs and convocation coordinator, noted the importance of convocation’s place in La Verne tradition.
“It marks history and bridges those in the past, present, and future,” she said. “It inspires in all of us success, challenges, and opportunities.”
Kaila Williams can be reached at email@example.com.