Danielle De Luna
The annual ceremony celebrated the start of the 127th academic year and recognized those who represent the University’s core values.
Jeanny Liu, associate professor of marketing and convocation speaker, urged students to tap into their creativity, and to ask questions.
“Remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get,” Liu said.
Liu, recipient of the 2018 Excellence in Teaching Award, said that she learned that memorization does not compare to a creative mindset and the ability to ask good questions.
As the program began, University Chaplain Zandra Wagoner set the tone with an invocation about the “beauty and blessing of beginning again.”
Provost Jonathan Reed also spoke, reminding everyone at the event of the University’s core values of ethical reflection, diversity and inclusivity, community engagement and lifelong learning.
And University President Devorah Lieberman talked about the importance of investigation, creativity and using these skills to reach out to others.
“I ask, I beg, I implore that you be that bridge that connects your values, your beliefs and your attitudes to others,” Lieberman said.
The University community recognized graduate students Drew Walleck and Perla Olivas and undergraduate students Damairis Lao and Rachael Dela Cruz as individuals who have heeded the call to be a bridge to others and awarded them Spirit of La Verne awards.
Lao, president of the interfaith club Common Ground, said her experiences as a performer, scholar and interfaith fellow have shaped her into the person she is today.
“The most important thing is to be present,” said Lao.
Before the recessional, the ULV Chamber Singers, led by Assistant Professor of Music Irene Messoloras, sang “True Colors” by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly. Messoloras said the song’s message spoke to the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity.
“Don’t be afraid participate, be involved, find creativity and embrace diversity,” Messoloras said. “I think it’s really important to be able to promote that right at the beginning.”
Danielle De Luna can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.