The Omwake-Dearborn Chapel was filled to capacity for Catawba College’s Opening Convocation ceremony on August 21. The event marked the advent of the institution’s 168th academic year and was scheduled the day before the first day of classes on August 22.
New first-year students to the college were welcomed to the campus community by receiving pins featuring the college seal. These new students also signed their names in a campus registry to mark the beginning of their college careers and were welcomed after the convocation ceremony with greetings and high fives from faculty, staff, and upper class students.
Salisbury Mayor Al Heggins brought greetings from the City to the convocation attendees, as did representatives from the college’s board of trustees (chair, Mr. Bill Graham ’83), faculty senate (chair, Professor Erin Dougherty), staff council (chair, Ms. Kimberly Weemhoff ’14), and the student government association (executive president, Ms. Peyton Coleman ’19).
Those attending the convocation also recited the College Honor Code, affirming their adherence to its tenents.
Catawba College President Brien Lewis delivered the convocation address, sharing some of the most important things that his mentors had taught him. His address included these gems of wisdom:
- “Where you stand depends on where you sit.”
- “Don’t ascribe maliciousness to that which can be explained by inadvertence.”
- “When hiring, the most important question is ‘Are batteries included or not included?’”
- “Don’t write anything you would not want to see on the front page of the newspaper tomorrow.”
- “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.”
- “It is a lot easier to keep your story straight if you tell the truth.”
- “If you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” (Benjamin Franklin)
- “The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do.” (Steve Jobs)
- “Play the ball where the monkey drops it.”
- “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” (Lorne Michaels)
- “I can’t give you a sure fire formula for success but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time.” (Herbert B. Slope)
- “There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.” (Brene Brown)
- “If you don’t sacrifice for what is important, what is important becomes the sacrifice.” (Unknown)
- “What would you tell your best friend to do if he or she were in the same situation?” (Unknown)
- “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)
- “Do or do not. There is no try.” (Yoda)
College Provost Dr. Constance Rogers-Lowery officiated as new SGA officers for the ’18-’19 academic year took the oath of office during the convocation ceremony. These officers included Peyton Coleman of Charlotte, executive president; D. Reginald Pulley, III, of Baltimore, Md., executive vice president; Adna Music of Salisbury, secretary; and Justin Potter of Seaford, Va., treasurer.
Also during the convocation, a brief commissioning ceremony was held for 15 Junior Marshals who have agreed to serve and assist during the College’s formal ceremonies throughout the new academic year. Each received a medallion with an image of the Hedrick Administration Building on it and a long-stemmed white rose to mark the occasion.
These Junior Marshals include Madison Bell of New Port Richey, Fla.; Carly Boileau of Lexington; Ashley Bornkamp of Mooresville; Federico Borrego Higareda of Mexico City, Mexico; Krissey Browder of Wilkesboro; Emily Fogelman of Liberty; Sophie Hirsch of Markkleeberg, Germany; Cassandra James of Robbins; William Jones of Salisbury; Dominic Masotti of Greenville, S.C.; Hannah Mercer of Lexington; Peyton Pruitt of Davidson; Sarah Sandate of Charlotte; Olivia Wooldridge of Porirua, New Zealand; and Samuel Young of Smithfield.
Junior Marshals, who assist Catawba College Marshal David Pulliam, assure that order and dignity are observed during formal occasions at the college, including convocations, baccalaureate and commencement. They were chosen from the junior class based on academic rank and are among the most honored students on campus. They embody the best of Catawba College both in academic achievement and service to the College community.
Following the convocation, a Sustainable Community Picnic was held on the lawn in front of the Corriher-Linn-Black Library. Hosted by the Office of the President, the student affiliates of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Environment Catawba Outreach (ECO), Psi Chi (the Psychology Honor society), Catawba Outdoor Adventures (COA), and the Center for the Environment, the event was a zero / near-zero waste event. Food eaten was disposed of in an environmentally-friendly manner, and eco-friendly activities encouraged campus interaction while heightening awareness about Catawba’s commitment to sustainability.