SUNY Cortland will open its 2015-16 academic year with the pomp and circumstance of Academic Convocation on Sunday, Aug. 30, in the Park Center Alumni Arena.
All first-year and new transfer students, along with the SUNY Cortland faculty, librarians and professional staff, are invited to participate in this hour-long event, which will begin at 4 p.m.
The concept for an opening academic convocation, modeled after a ceremony held during the College’s earlier years, was developed from a recommendation by the College’s Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee. The tradition, restarted in 2003, is coordinated through the President’s Office.
“With Academic Convocation, students mark the beginning of their academic journey at SUNY Cortland,” said College President Erik J. Bitterbaum. “The event affords faculty and staff the opportunity to formally welcome incoming students to the College. In addition, this important milestone reflects the role of the entire campus community in supporting academic achievement.”
The Academic Convocation processional begins with the all-college gonfalonier, who leads in the faculty, followed by the Schools of Professional Studies, Arts and Sciences and Education gonfaloniers. Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Mark Prus will carry the all-college gonfalon, while the gonfalons representing the College’s three schools will be carried by John Cottone, dean of the School of Professional Studies; Jerome O’Callaghan, associate dean of the School of Arts and Sciences; and Andrea Lachance, dean of the School of Education.
The processional concludes when the macebearer brings in the platform party, which consists of members of the College’s administration and faculty leadership, the College Council, visiting dignitaries and honorees. Joanne Barry, assistant vice president of human resources, will carry the mace, a ceremonial staff used as a symbol of authority.
Ralph Carrasquillo, director of residence life and housing, will deliver the Academic Convocation address. Speakers will include Bitterbaum; Prus; and senior Patrick Viscome, president of the Student Government Association; senior childhood education major Kaylee Cunningham; and Michael Sgro, representing the SUNY Cortland Alumni Association.
Performing Arts Department Lecturer Marina Gorelaya will provide the processional and recessional music. Sophomore speech and hearing science major Hannah Truman will sing the national anthem and Alma Mater. Several returning students also have volunteered to serve as student marshals.
For more information, an academic convocation website can be found at cortland.edu/academic-convocation/.