Overflow Crowd Welcomes Class of 2013 at Convocation
An overflow crowd of more than 2,000 parents and families joined with members of The University of Scranton community to welcome formally the largest incoming undergraduate class in the Jesuit school's history at the New Student Convocation on Saturday, Aug. 22, at the Byron Recreation Complex.
At the ceremony, University of Scranton President Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., challenged the 1,040 freshmen to change themselves and "the world around you for the greater Glory of God and wellbeing of human kind."
"Love your mind mightily, but not for its own sake, but to offer it up to a world waiting to be more gentle and more just," said Fr. Pilarz.
At the convocation, the freshmen witnessed the introduction of their Class of 2013 Banner, as presented by Joseph Quinn '10, student body president, and took a student pledge, led by William Grogan '11, student body vice president.
Award-winning author Chris Lowney received an honorary degree from Scranton. Lowney is the author of Heroic Leadership: Best Practices from a 450-Year-Old Company that Changed the World, and Heroic Living: Discover Your Purpose and Change the World, which was the book read by incoming freshmen at Scranton.
In his remarks, Lowney told the Class of 2013 that they are "eloquent evidence that the sixteenth century dream still works."
"You have promise. My challenge to you is that you have the pride and passion to make the most of your promise," said Lowney, who also spoke to the class about Heroic Leadership on Sunday.
Earlier on Saturday, more than 600 volunteers helped move the students into residence halls. Among the volunteers were 40 of their fellow classmates, who arrived early as participates in FIRST (Freshman Involved in Reflective Service Together). The FIRST participants engaged in several service projects at Scranton-area non-profit organizations throughout the week.
Also during the weekend, the University conducted an orientation program for incoming students of the College of Graduate and Continuing Education. International students were welcomed at a reception held at the Retreat Center at Chapman Lake. A Mass, followed by a barbeque was held for all students and members of The University of Scranton community on Sunday afternoon.