There is an important event in the life of the University this afternoon at 4 pm in Wait Chapel. It is Founders’ Day Convocation. Convocations are defined as follows, according to Wikipedia: ”A convocation (Latin, “calling together”, translating the Greek ἐκκλησία ekklēsia) is a group of people formally assembled for a special purpose.” Normally in a university setting, it is an all-call assembly for an academic purpose – to welcome new students at the beginning of their orientation, or to provide a venue for the president or other speakers to address the campus community, typically with some ceremony or recognitions (such as faculty awards, advising awards, etc.)
The Founders’ Day Convocation has a very special twist to it, and that is that we will have three members of the Class of 2014 read their Senior Orations. These are papers they have written and submitted for consideration for this honor. In past years, these have been really arresting speeches – sometimes reflections of a favorite WFU experience, other times on a challenge or personal growth the students had while in school. They are always very moving.
Three will read theirs aloud today, and later today or tomorrow those should be posted on the Wake website (we’ll link to it). There were ten finalists for Senior Orations, and most years the finalists have granted permission for me to reprint their orations here in the Daily Deac. If they do so again, we’ll post them throughout the next couple of weeks.
Bottom line: encourage your students to attend. There are only 8 or so Convocations in a student’s time at Wake Forest, and there is something to be said for some academic pomp and circumstance, as well as hearing from their peers. Plus, there is a reception following, and your students can get some free food and mingle with the faculty, which is something that not every school does. Encourage yours to take advantage of this great event.
More information from an email I received about Founders’ Day Convocation is below.
Please join us Thursday, February 20th at 4:00 p.m., as the Wake Forest community of students, faculty, and staff gather in Wait Chapel for the Founders’ Day Convocation.
Seniors Michael Hunter, David Inczauskis, and Melvin Washington will present their winning orations. Faculty awards for teaching, research, mentoring, and service will be presented to individuals from the College departments of Biology, History, Mathematics, Philosophy, Physics, and Religion and from the School of Law. President Hatch will present this year’s Medallion of Merit to Margaret Supplee Smith, the Harold W. Tribble Professor Emerita. The Medallion of Merit is the highest honor bestowed by the University.
A reception following the Convocation will be held in the Lobby of Scales Fine Arts Center for all attendees. Hope to see you there!