CSUN seeks to inspire new class

Christina Cocca

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Award-winning author Chitra Divakaruni offered the 2012 freshman class a few inspiring words on the Oviatt lawn Thursday at the Freshman Convocation.

“If you allow it, college will transform you,” Divakaruni said. “My hope is that you’ll be on the lookout for amazing stories, and that you’ll treasure, cherish and share them.”

This convocation was the first for President Dianne Harrison, and she reminded the students she was “also new this year,” and she and the freshmen “share that bond.”

President Dianne Harrison thanked the keynote speaker, Chitra Divakaruni and presented her with a special plaque. Ms. Divakaruni, author of “One Amazing Thing” remembers how much college changed her life, and wished the freshman students well for the start of their college careers. Photo credit: Danielle Hale

“(Divakaruni’s) talk was very inspiring,” said Mary Alvarado, a freshman undecided in major, said her class is about to start reading Divakaruni’s book.

Jesus Perez, a freshman who has not yet decided his major, said it was interesting to see Harrison in person.

“It’s really interesting that she started here with us,” Perez said.

Lidia Perez, a freshman studying psychology, watched from the Oviatt lawn.

“It was really spiritual and made me see myself with all of these people for the next four years,” Lidia Perez said of the convocation.

Other speakers included Dr. William Watkins, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, Sydni Powell, president of Associated Students, and Dr. Harry Hellenbrand, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Divakaruni was the keynote speaker of the ceremony. She described the inspiration for her book, “One Amazing Thing,” and said her hopes for the freshman class to be “the embodiment of grace under pressure.”

President Harrison closed the ceremony before she sang the CSUN alma mater with the students to music from the award-winning CSUN Jazz “A” Band.

“The goal of inviting speakers and authors is to inspire reflection,” Harrison said. “I hope this has nurtured your commitment and desire to succeed and instilled pride in you. Hail to the Matadors.”