DUBOIS – Penn State DuBois officially opened the 2019-20 academic year on Thursday, with the campus Convocation Ceremony and New Student Orientation.
New students and their families were welcomed by Chancellor M. Scott McBride and other campus leaders during the ceremony in the campus gymnasium, where they were also introduced to faculty and staff.
“Today marks the beginning of the rest of your life. The opportunity to earn a coveted Penn State degree is why you are here, but it is far from the only life-changing thing that you will take away from your Penn State experience,” McBride said.
“You will discover your passions, your capacity for new knowledge and critical thought, tolerance and understanding, and your ability to dig deep within yourself to achieve far more than you ever thought possible.
“It’s a time for significant personal growth, for taking responsibility for your own journey and finding your own unique path for reaching your goals.”
McBride also urged new students to embrace the search for knowledge. He said, “I challenge you to be curious, ask important questions, seek truth and wisdom, critically examine and analyze, but most of all, don’t settle for knowing the right answer; seek to understand why it’s the right answer.
“Standing here this morning, I challenge you to ignite your passion for life and learning, to pay it forward to help others, and to become your very best self.
“I ask that together, we join to uphold our values and sustain our commitment to academic study, personal development, and to the betterment of our university community.”
Director of Enrollment Melissa Duttry also welcomed students. She explained that the student population on campus is a truly diverse group.
She said, “In the bleachers today, we have students from two countries, 11 different states and 86 different towns. You are representing 85 different high schools. Some of you have travelled far to get here.
“Our longest journey was from 2,601 miles away in Tracy, Calif. Another student traveled a distance of 1,576 miles from Lutz, Fla., and another 1,128 miles from Schertz, Texas.
“Whether you are from Church Avenue in Brockway, Brocious Road in Marion Center, Linda Drive in Euclid, Ohio, or Mississauga, Ontario, you all have the same status; you are a new student at the Pennsylvania State University!”
Students spent the remainder of their New Student Orientation on Thursday completing icebreaker exercises, scheduling courses, meeting with their academic advisors and attending information sessions on how to be successful as a college student.
They complete service to others during Community Outreach Day on the Friday following convocation each year, when they volunteer at various charitable and community-minded organizations throughout the area.
Leading up to the opening of the academic year, faculty and staff at Penn State DuBois met on Tuesday for a full-day organizational retreat. They discussed future strategies for the campus that will assure the highest quality in education and service is provided to Penn State DuBois students.