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Chrome Extension Download Chrome Extension. Season 19 Episode 42 Published at: Sunday 29th of September In the spirit of the season, my campus held three consecutive events for students, staff, and faculty this week: a State of the Campus Address, a Dean's Picnic, and our Convocation.
We were fortunate enough to have the media cover each activity, giving the public we serve a nice glimpse of the welcoming efforts we undertake each year. As you might expect, no one asked me to define and explain the campus address or the picnic.
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However, there were plenty of questions about our convocation, which got me to thinking about something I have long taken for granted as a member of academia. The dictionary definition of the word "convocation" typically states something about a group of people in a college or university that gather for some sort of ceremony. For some universities, convocation events surround graduation. At others, such as my own, the convocation focus is on welcoming activities. And yet, no matter at which point on the education timeline you place the event, the emphasis on the gathering itself does not seem to get at the essence of what a convocation event represents within the university community.
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This reminds me a little bit of the animated television special "A Charlie Brown Christmas. I bring this up because I believe therein lies the essence of our convocation efforts, although in a decidedly more secular sense. To wit, it is really all about our recognition of the scholarly circle of life.
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One comes in, another goes out. We celebrate these entrances and exits because students are our lifeblood.