SRU launches New Student Convocation ceremony



   Slippery Rock University’s Interim President Philip Way will deliver welcoming remarks at the Aug. 25 New Student Convocation.

Aug. 22, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Much like a trip around the world starts and ends in the same place, Slippery Rock University students will now gather to mark the start of their journey as college students in the same place it will draw to a conclusion.

As part of SRU's annual "Week of Welcome," the Class of 2021 will participate in the University's inaugural New Student Convocation at 3 p.m., Aug. 25 in Morrow Field House, which also plays host to commencement ceremonies.

"New Student Convocation and commencement are the only times you are together with your entire class in one spot," said David Wilmes, associate provost for student success. "This event is a formal way of welcoming students to the University."

david wilmes


Since joining SRU in July 2016, Wilmes has led efforts to launch a convocation event to mark the occasion of students taking their first step toward achieving their higher educational goals. The 40-minute ceremony will feature greetings and advice from speakers representing the faculty, current students and alumni of the University.

In addition to welcoming remarks from Philip Way, SRU interim president, speakers at the event will include:

-Alan Levy, professor of history and University grand marshal, who will speak on the behalf of the faculty and provide practical advice on how students can succeed. "I want to give them a practical sense of what they can do to make themselves effective as students no matter what their field is," said Levy, who's been a faculty member at SRU since 1985. "One fundamental phrase I'll use is 'Frustration comes from a lack of preparation.'"

-Rachel Lawler, a senior exercise science major from Upper Chichester and president of the Slippery Rock Student Government Association, will discuss the importance of pursuing opportunities both academically and socially.

-Grace Evans, '13, will speak on behalf of the alumni. An honors graduate from Apollo, Evans was a double major in mathematics and philosophy. She will discuss the benefits of an SRU education and how students can make the most of their time at the University.

In addition to imparting a sense of community and spirit, the event is intended to embolden students to make the right choices and achieve success.

"We want students to understand that this is an academic experience that they are embarking on," Wilmes said. "We want to encourage them to learn as much as they can and do as much as they can while they're here at SRU."

At the conclusion of the program, students will be dismissed by row to the Grass-Tex area to receive an SRU T-shirt.

MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Zackal | 724.738.4854 |