Convocation greets new students

Provost Jonathan Reed opens the 124th academic year at the University of La Verne by dedicating his speech to describing the University’s core values. Reed encourages new students to find mentors in the faculty and staff and take academic challenges throughout their academic career. / photo by Helen Arase

Kaila Williams
Staff Writer

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

Student-athletes of the University of La Verne football team, junior safety George Evans III, sophomore safety Michael Hill and junior running back Justin Manson, cheer on their incoming freshman teammates during the convocation ceremony, as they are welcomed into the University. / photo by Helen Arase
University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman welcomes the new class of 2019 to the University with her community message and inspirational advice to achieve higher retention rates. Lieberman’s speech followed convocation speaker Loren Dyck. / photo by Helen Arase
Keynote speaker Loren Dyck, assistant professor of management, delivers his speech titled “Remain Curious.” He asked for the audience’s participation a few times, prompting everyone in the Athletics Pavilion to talk to their neighbors about something personal to them. Dyck also spoke about how curiosity can spark feelings of happiness. For instance, students can fight negatives in the classroom like boredom by following their own curiosities, he said. / photo by Helen Arase
University of La Verne College of Law Dean Gilbert Holmes and George Keeler, Professor of Journalism and Chairman of the Communications Department, share something personal about themselves during Loren Dyck’s convocation speech, “Remain Curious.” Dyck asked each person in the audience to turn to their neighbors and share something personal. / photo by Helen Arase
Associate Vice President of Academic Support and Retention Services Adeline Cardenas-Clague, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Lawrence Potter, Interim Dean of the LaFetra College of Education Barbara Poling and Avedis Kechichian, Chief Financial Officer  enjoy the events during Loren Dyck’s convocation speech. Interim Dean of the LaFetra College of Education Barbara Poling and Avedis Kechichian, Chief Financial Officer each share with one another something personal, during Loren Dyck’s speech. / photo by Helen Arase
Kaila Williams

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