CSUN welcomes incoming 2012-2013 freshman with convocation

Alex Curran

The Freshman Convocation, an annual ceremony welcoming freshmen students to the CSUN community, will take place Thursday, Sept. 6 at 6 p.m. on the Oviatt Lawn.

“Convocation is the first bookend of a student’s career,” said Cheryl Spector, director of academic first year experiences. “The student’s career begins with convocation and ends with graduation.”

President Dianne Harrison will open the event with a speech officially welcoming freshmen to CSUN and will introduce keynote speaker Chitra Divakaruni.

Divakaruni is the author of “One Amazing Thing,” the 2012-2013 freshman common reading book. She will speak about themes represented in the book and will also do a signing after the convocation ceremony. A reception will follow, where free finger foods will be offered to anyone who attends.

“The freshmen love it,” said Dustin Beech, student coordinator at the Student Development Office. “They were having discussions in their 100 (level) classes about the book and the keynote speaker.”

The Student Development Office is preparing for 2,500 students to converge on the Oviatt Lawn for the ceremony, ranging from freshmen to the dorm living community to athletes, Beech said.

“It’s great to see everyone in their CSUN gear and apparel walking together,” Beech said. “Here’s a real sense of connectivity and camaraderie.”

Also attending the event are faculty who will march to the lawn together in their cap and gowns, Spector said.

In its sixth year, the convocation is “a party of the mind,” Spector said. “Convocation is another symbol of the way student affairs and the academic side come together.”