Fall Convocation Fires up Students for New School Year
By Nanyamka Taliaferro
Exiting the gates of Bowie State University in four years’ time and offering encouragement to the Class of 2016 were the prevailing themes at the 2012 Fall Convocation on Sept. 19 in a standing-room-only Myers Auditorium in the Martin Luther King Jr. Communication Arts Center.
The new students were immediately congratulated on making it to college by the university provost and vice president Dr. Weldon Jackson. The emphasis of his speech, especially to the increased transfer population and incoming freshmen, was to complete college in four years. He encouraged all students to become involved on campus as much as possible. By doing so, he emphasized, students will succeed along with the assistance of the attentive faculty.
Bowie State University President Mickey L. Burnim elaborated further on Jackson’s remarks during his keynote address, however, he took a slightly different approach by emphasizing the importance of seizing opportunities as they presented themselves. He encouraged students, “Begin with the end in mind.” He urged students to set goals and work toward them, following such steps as developing a plan to achieve the goals and learning the requirements for goals, both academic and personal. Clearly, the students were encouraged by Burnim’s words because they interrupted him with enthusiastic applause. “Do not believe you can’t,” the president urged students.
Upon the conclusion of his speech, Burnim was followed by the Symphony of Soul concert band’s soulful rendition of “I Love the Lord,” which was rewarded with grateful applause. As the convocation came to a close with a final prayer and students and faculty began to exit the auditorium, there was a sense that a fire had been stoked in their spirits.