Convocation kicks off the new school year

Sept. 26 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., UW Tacoma hosted its fifth annual Convocation on the Prairie Line Trail. The event was well attended by students, staff and faculty members.

Convocation started in 2012 and is a tradition that welcomes incoming and returning students to UWT. This ceremony marks the beginning of the school year and is an opportunity for students, staff and faculty to meet and mingle with one another.

Faculty, staff and students met on the Prairie Line Trail along with their family members to get free T-shirts while waiting for the event to start. Marching bands from Lincoln and Curtis High Schools kicked off Convocation with several songs, including the national anthem.

Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Jill Purdy also introduced Bill Sterud — chairman of the Puyallup tribe — who shared a special message with all the students.

“Dream big, dream big. Let nothing get in your way as you pursue your dreams,” Sterud said. “Remember the people that got you here. They are all waiting for your success.”

After Chairman Sterud’s remarks, Chancellor Mark Pagano gave his address and welcomed students, faculty and staff alike. Pagano noted the record enrollment at UWT and encouraged students to study and focus on their successes.

Chancellor Pagano was then followed by Victoria Woodards — mayor of the city of Tacoma — who encouraged students to get involved in and outside of campus and enjoy the many things Tacoma has to offer. She urged students to stay in Tacoma and help make it a greater place, telling students to “live like the mountain is out even when you can’t see it.”

Mentha Hynes-Wilson, vice chancellor of Student and Enrollment Services, and Armen Papyan, Associated Students of UWT president, also welcomed the crowd and looked forward to the new year.

“The future is in good hands,” Papyan said.

Once Papyan finished speaking, the group gathered for a giant group selfie. Students were also able to take pictures of Hendrix the Husky, register to vote and collect free passes to some of the breweries around UWT.

This year’s Convocation succeeded in bringing many different students, staff and faculty together to celebrate the beginning of the 2018–2019 school year. The ceremony promised shared learning and fun to everyone on campus, and also guaranteed a promising new year for everyone at UWT.

PHOTO BY LETICIA BENNETT