Lehigh Valley kicks off 2019-20 academic year with academic convocation

About 250 new students attended ceremony during New Student Welcome
crowd under a tent

About 250 incoming first-year students and new transfer students were in attendance at convocation on Aug. 21, along with faculty and staff of the Lehigh Valley campus. 

Credit: Camille Kacerik

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — The new academic year officially began on Aug. 21 at Penn State Lehigh Valley’s fall convocation ceremony.

About 250 incoming first-year students and new transfer students were in attendance, along with faculty and staff of the Lehigh Valley campus.

Convocation opened with the procession of campus faculty and staff. Senior faculty member Barbara Cantalupo, professor of English, led the procession.

woman in academic dress at podium

Chancellor Tina Q. Richardson spoke at the 2019 convocation ceremony held on Aug. 21 at the Lehigh Valley campus.

Credit: Camille Kacerik

Convocation speakers included Tina Q. Richardson, chancellor of Penn State Lehigh Valley; Douglas Hochstetler, interim director of academic affairs; Mark Gruskin, associate professor of finance and accounting, and chair of the Penn State Lehigh Valley Faculty Senate; Hibah Akbar, president of the Student Government Association; and Todd Retzlaff, associate professor of mathematics.

When Akbar spoke, she advised students to strive for more.

“Think about what you want and how to get it using Penn State resources. My advice to all Penn State Lehigh Valley students is to be more than just fine, because you’re fantastic,” Akbar said.

During Retzlaff’s remarks he reminded students that college is about more than picking a major and getting that degree.

“Remember you are not locked into one path. Pursuing other interests is worth your time. Explore your options, join groups on campus. You get to meet people and learn from their different viewpoints. And don’t forget, you’re more resilient than you give yourself credit for,” Retzlaff said.

group of faculty in regalia

Faculty who processed in at the 2019 convocation ceremony on Aug. 21 gathered with Chancellor Tina Q. Richardson after the event for a group photo.

Credit: Camille Kacerik

New Student Welcome was a daylong event for all new first-year, transfer and adult students. The event included information sessions, academic workshops and presentations. New Student Welcome also included a motivational speaker who encouraged students to be engaged. Many student leaders also were present to welcome students and introduce them to campus. Each new student received a Penn State Lehigh Valley swag bag, which included a water bottle with information on refill stations as a kickoff to learning about sustainability on campus.

See more photos from convocation at Flickr.com