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AU opens 175th academic year, welcomes 600 new students
8/20/10

ALFRED, NY — Alfred University welcomed 600 new students during opening convocation ceremonies Friday, Aug. 23. Lynn Petrillo, adjunct associate professor of composition, opened the University’s 175th year by reminding the students of the important contributions they will make to the AU community.

“You are Alfred University. This is already true. You are Alfred University’s Class of 2014, now first-year students and someday — sooner than it seems — graduating seniors and then Alfred alumni,” Petrillo told the group of 520 freshman and 80 transfer students gathered in the McLane Center gymnasium.

Petrillo urged students to make the most of the opportunity they have before them as they begin their time at AU, to be themselves and pursue their unique goals and ambitions, which will in turn build and strengthen the Alfred University community.

“Let’s give some attention and honor to these individual personal selves we are, for this talk is intended to represent the first lecture of your university education, and a good college education, after all, teaches us to investigate thoroughly, to perceive sensitively, to intensify our awarenesses, and to embrace our possibilities,” she said. “You. You are gifted one life. One life with its one corresponding chance to express your radiance, to actualize your potential, to become yourself, to be yourself. You.”

“How you respond, how you receive and give and represent and become while you are here will create more than your personal experience of this campus. It will also directly and significantly contribute to making this institution itself,” Petrillo said. “In turn, as you make Alfred University and represent Alfred University wherever you go, Alfred University will help make you too.”

Ana Devlin-Gauthier, Student Senate president, asked incoming new students to take full advantage of the opportunities that will be presented to them while at Alfred. She urged them to take their studies seriously, but also to pursue other interests.

“Value your education and give the University the respect it deserves. Focus on academics, but remember there is a lot to learn outside the classroom,” Devlin-Gauthier said. “Alfred is the type of place where if you give, it will give back tenfold. I hope that in four years, when this group is back here, you will have created your own masterpiece that you can carry with you for the rest of your lives.”

In welcoming the new students, Charles Edmondson, University president, described convocation as “the occasion that celebrates the rebirth of Alfred University for a new academic year.” That occasion, he said, is important not only to the students, but also to the University’s faculty and staff.

The 520 students making up this year’s freshman class represent an increase over the 470 that made up last year’s class. Returning students will arrive on campus this weekend, with classes slated to being Monday, Aug. 23.