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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Undergraduate convocation welcomes one of the largest classes to the Aggie family

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As Gig ‘Em week comes to a close, A&M faculty and staff in the Undergraduate Convocation formally welcomed freshman students Sunday afternoon.
Dr. Ann Kenimer, associate provost for undergraduate studies and professor at the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering said the Class of 2018 is one of Texas A&M’s largest classes of new students, with over 10,000 students. She is looking forward to seeing the student’s growth throughout the academic year.
“The quality of the academic backgrounds that we see in these students is truly fantastic,” Kenimer said. “It’s very inspiring for me to welcome these new students in because we know that they’re starting a journey in their own personal and professional development and we get to be part of that.”
Among the welcoming speakers were Interim President Mark Hussey, Student Body Presdient Kyle Kelly and Cesar O. Malave as the keynote speaker.
Kenimer said Dr. Malave’s message on the commitment to learning for a lifetime was fantastic and appropriate for new students who are coming into a different educational experience.
“I loved his energy and the way he was able to tie his message to his own personal experiences as a student and some of the experiences he’s having with his own children as they’re going off to college,” Kenimer said.
Anna Dean, anthropology freshman, said the convocation embodied the Aggie core values and helped her better understand the purpose and connection with the university.
“You hear the phrase ‘Aggies commit’ a lot and this is the manifestation of that,” Dean said. “It’s like our commitment to this school and it’s the teachers’ commitment to making sure we get through this school prepared to enter the world.”
Ashley Miller, biology freshman, said the experience showed her the compassion that the faculty have for students and how open and friendly they are.
“It just got me excited how much the faculty really cares,” Miller said. “I think sometimes when you think about college you think that professors want to scare you and intimidate you and they’re distant.”
Miller said Dr. Malave’s speech touched on the vital connection students could have with their professors throughout their academic career.
“They’re here to help us, they want to watch us succeed,” Miller said.
Dean said the main takeaway message from Dr. Malave’s speech was that life is full of learning and that education is a continuous experience.
“It doesn’t stop when you leave class or when you leave Texas A&M,” Dean said. “You have to continue to learn, to continue to be relevant. In your career field or just in life in general.”
In closing, the “Spirit of Aggieland” was sung by the Century Singers. Kenimer said this is an important transition for students, and most of the activities are spirit-oriented to help create a positive environment.
“The spirit and the many activities and a lot of other things are such an important component,” Kenimer said. “But tomorrow we really have to focus on the real reason why everybody is here. That’s the academics and so we’re trying to provide a welcome into the academic setting that’s really going to be dominate in students’ lives while they’re here.”
Student Body President Kyle Kelley addresses incoming freshmen at this year’s convocation ceremony.
Photo by David Cohen

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