Convocation Ceremony Welcomes Class of 2024
In this class, RWU welcomes a semi-professional video gamer, someone who has performed at Disney World, a competitive Irish dancer, a competitive roller skater, several entrepreneurs, a beekeeper, many Eagle Scouts, and many children and siblings of Roger Williams alumni.
Hosted virtually for the first time, this year’s Convocation commended 1,072 incoming undergraduate students for their remarkable adaptation and encouraged them to make the most of their college experience through community connection and involvement.
On Monday, students met with faculty in small, facilitated groups to take Convocation's traditional pledge of academic integrity. Speakers recorded videos in place of the traditional, in-person ceremony, and included President Ioannis Miaoulis, Vice President of Student Life John J. King, Provost Margaret Everett, Associate Professor of Physics Adria Updike, Vice President for Enrollment Management Amy Tiberio, Senate President Sam Avila ’22 and President of St. Anne's Hospital Michael Bushell P’21.
President Miaoulis shared his advice with incoming freshmen and transfer students, which included learning a second language, staying organized, getting to know faculty, forming lifelong friendships, and, of course, helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“The underlying message is an important one that you learn over and over at Roger Williams in many of your classes: your actions are larger than yourself, and individual choices affect the greater community,” he said.
That sentiment echoed across the lineup of speakers, which included representatives of faculty, staff, students, and families.
“We will adapt and learn together. The leadership and mentorship provided by our dedicated and talented faculty, staff, and student leaders is ready to assist you. We have come together as a community like no other time in our history, and now we welcome you, and will depend on you to protect and strengthen this community,” said King.
Tiberio shared some of the strengths that the Class of 2024 and transfer students are bringing to the RWU community. This cohort of students is arriving from 589 different public and private high schools and transfer institutions, 23 states, and 6 different countries. With 85 percent out-of-state students and 19.3 percent students of color, they will make this year’s overall student body the most diverse in RWU history.
“Your involvements and hobbies are also diverse,” said Tiberio. “You are one of the most academically talented classes we have ever had. In this class, we welcome a semi-professional video gamer, someone who has performed at Disney World, a competitive Irish dancer, a competitive roller skater, several entrepreneurs, a beekeeper, many Eagle Scouts, and many children and siblings of Roger Williams alumni."
Following the recordings from RWU faculty and staff, Avila and Bushell contributed words of encouragement for the incoming students.
“This year will bring lots of uncertainty, but there are two things you can count on. We are always here for each other, because Hawks Fly Together, and it’s always a great day to be a Hawk. I hope you enjoy your first year here, Hawks of 2024,” said Avila.