NIU 2010 Academic Convocation

NIU Academic ConvocationThe Academic Convocation took place on Friday, August 20 at the NIU Convocation Center.

Academic Convocation is a formal ceremony to officially welcome and celebrate incoming students to Northern Illinois University. Students learned about the many academic opportunities and campus traditions of NIU. President John G. Peters and members of the faculty and staff celebrated the beginning of the newest Huskies’ college experience.

The 2010 Convocation took its theme—A Just Community—from the Northern Pact, the university’s principles of community, adopted in 2008.

A “kick-start” breakfast, coordinated by Housing & Dining, occurred near the west campus residence halls prior to the Convocation and served as a way to get students motivated for their first full day on campus. From there, students walked or were bused to the NIU Convocation Center. The Convocation program is the formal welcome to tha academic community and strives to instill tradition, communicate core values of the university, and promote Huskie spirit among the participants. One of the most impressive parts of the Convocation is the procession of faculty and administrators in regalia representing their academic discipline and their respective alma maters.

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This year’s Academic Convocation highlighted two faculty-student presentations designed to engage new students in the academic life of the university. Dean Promod Vohra and students from the College of Engineering & Engineering Technology shared the work of the NIU chapter of “Engineers Without Borders,” an organization whose members traveled to East Africa this summer. The team developed and implemented a plan to harness solar energy to supply power to a school in Tanzania.

NIU Academic Convocation
College of Engineering and Engineering Technology Dean Promod Vohra addresses students and faculty at NIU's Academic Convocation on August 20.

A second presentation featured Alexander Gelman, Director of the School of Theatre & Dance, with two theatre students, one whom has traveled to Moscow with senior BFA theatre majors to learn about acting, theatre history, and the Russian language, and another who make the same journey this fall.

The Huskie Marching Band (including the NIU Silverettes) provided pre-event entertainment and NIU football Head Coach Jerry Kill spoke to the attendees and encouraged them to get involved while at NIU. Student volunteers, including Community Assistants, NIGuides, the NIU ROTC, Student Orientation Leaders, Sigma Lambda Gamma, Lambda Sigma, and Alpha Phi Omega, assisted with escorting students to the Convocation Center, seating the attendees, and marshalling the 80 faculty and staff participants. The event was planned and organized by a campus-wide committee comprised of faculty, staff, and students.

by Brandi Hephner LaBanc

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