New students entering The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) this fall received a healthy and meaningful dose of advice from Chancellor-elect Franklin Gilliam and keynote speaker Dr. Mitchell Croatt, Sunday evening at the university’s 124th New Student Convocation. The standing-room-only crowd filled Aycock Auditorium to capacity with 1,600 new students and another 250-plus filling over-flow seating in near-by Taylor Auditorium.

“This is a new beginning for you and for me!” said Chancellor-elect Franklin Gilliam, who is in the process of moving from a position as dean of the Luskin School of Public Affair at UCLA. “And with any new beginning there is excitement and promise and but there can also be fear and doubt.”

Incoming music major, Max Singleton kicked off the convocation by singing the national anthem. Dr. Croatt, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, highlighted the importance of L-O-V-E. To learn, get organized, vote (because otherwise you don’t get the right to complain), and to honor education as the great “equalizer.”

The ceremonious “Ringing of the Bell” by Chancellor-elect Gilliam, Alumni Association President Mary Napier and Student Government Association President Brittany Hudson, class of 2016, followed. The “Ringing of the Bell” is a legacy observance that harkens back to the campus’ early days. As a key part of student convocation, all new students took the academic integrity oath, administered by Kelsey Dorrill, Class of 2016. Jessie Stewart, also a member of the class of 2016 led in singing the university song.

In closing, Gilliam advised the students to look back briefly and to use their support system – parents, high school teachers and coaches, and others – who have helped them get to UNCG. “But most important,” Gilliam said. “Look forward because your time here will define you. Get involved. Go to class. Meet with your professors.”


Story by Joe Gallehugh, contributor
Photography by Martin W. Kane, UNCG University Relations