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University of Dayton Magazine
UD convocation 2014 Burgess

Learners who lead

8:00 AM  Aug 27th, 2014
by CC Hutten '15

Sleepy first-years dressed in their Sunday best sauntered into the unfamiliar RecPlex for an inspirational start to their morning, thanks to the wisdom of notable students and faculty.

President Daniel J. Curran kicked off the Convocation speeches at 9 a.m., Aug. 26, with a simple encouragement: be a leader.

“It’s easy to love being a member of the University of Dayton community, but the only way this great community will become better — and address its challenges — is that we all contribute. This means you have to be leaders in many ways,” Curran said. “Be a leader here, during your time at the University. And when you leave, be a leader for the world.”

Convocation not only welcomes new students to be leaders, but also new faculty into their academic careers at UD. New dean of the School of Engineering Eddy Rojas, senior civil engineering major Vincent Spahr and English professor John McCombe gave a testimony on each of their academic careers and UD experiences, insisting that a commitment to learning in all aspects ensures a worthwhile four (or five) years at UD — and for life.

“You all have a story, even though most students don’t think their story is very interesting. Share that story,” McCombe said. “Talk to us. That emotional connection might not change that ‘D’ to an ‘A,’ but when you’re making an argument, and the audience connects with you a little bit, that can be a good thing.”

The students and faculty pledged their honor and pinned their newfound Marianist pride, completing their orientation.

With best wishes and good luck from all corners, new students exited the RecPlex, finally able to experience just what’s so special about UD as the newest generation committed to learning, leadership and service.

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