School of Law professor Staci Patterson Rucker smiled as she surveyed the audience of first-year students and parents, along with supportive faculty and staff gathered for lunch in Kennedy Union ballroom Friday, Aug. 22, less than a week before the start of the fall semester.
“It’s nice to see the excitement on your faces, to know of the possibilities ahead for all of you,” said Rucker, assistant dean of student affairs for the law school.
Rucker’s speech was part of Transitions, an Office of Multicultural Affairs pre-orientation program for incoming first-year multicultural students. During the lunch, students and their parents had the opportunity to interact with upperclass students, faculty and staff to learn more about opportunities at UD, as well as academic and social support services.
This fall, the University welcomed its largest incoming first-year class in school history, one marked by a significant increase in the number of African-American and Hispanic students. Many of those students attended Transitions, and heard Rucker’s insight on the possibilities available at UD.
Have a dream and a plan, she said. “If you can imagine it, and prepare for it, it can become a reality.
And, be prepared to let those plans drift off campus — away from Dayton, away from Ohio and even outside the United States. Experience the possibilities of learning in a global community and taking advantage of UD’s study abroad programs.
By attending college, Rucker said, they’ve already set themselves apart. Now, it’s time to be fearless, reinvent oneself and embrace what lies ahead.
“Be excellent at whatever you do,” she said.