Class Of 2021 Officially Joins The Penn State Family At Convocation

This year’s freshman class gathered for the first — and only — time at the Bryce Jordan Center Saturday night for Convocation. A time-honored tradition, Convocation helps new students learn more about the place they’ll call home for the next four years.

With a Convocation just as colorful as in past years, President Eric Barron upgraded his complimentary threads this year to give each freshman a color-coordinated shirt according to their college of enrollment: but this time with the new Penn State shield logo proudly emblazoned on the front.

Shades of Blue officially welcomed the Class of 2021 by performing a hearty rendition of “Fight on State” before transitioning to Stevie Nicks classic “Landslide” with an impressive featured soloist. Freshmen unfortunately weren’t impressed by Yellowcard classic “Ocean Avenue”, which is just a damn shame.

After officially beginning the Convocation program, this year’s freshman class joined arms to sing the Penn State alma mater for the first time ever.

President Eric Barron addressed the freshmen for the first time, encouraging them to become engaged in the breadth and depth of activity happening here at Penn State. He touted the accomplishments of the Class of 2021, from athletics to academics to entrepreneurship to creativity. The class consists of more than 8,000 students from 68 countries and 44 states.

“Your classmates are fascinating,” Barron said. “Every person in this room is truly worth getting to know.”

Barron then introduced Nick Jones, Penn State’s Provost and Executive Vice President. Jones has a unique perspective on the student experience here with two daughters currently attending Penn State. He told students it’s never too early to think about what you want to accomplish at Penn State and what you’ll need to do to get there. Jones’s portion of the program showed videos highlighting peer tutoring resources and undergraduate research opportunities.

Evan Pugh Professor Nina Jablonski challenged students to look up from their screens — not for just the next five minutes, but the next four years. She highlighted Penn State’s incredible research and engagement opportunities.

“There is something for you and your excellent brain here at Penn State,” Jablonski said. “Penn State is a workout studio for your intellect and attitudes.”

Keeping with tradition, Vice Provost Kathy Bieschke announced each college by name and asked students enrolled in that college to stand. Unsurprisingly, a sea of orange emerged from the rainbow in the Bryce Jordan Center.

Student Body President Katie Jordan closed the program, encouraging students to follow their passions wherever they may lead. You can read the full text of Jordan’s speech here.

Welcome to the family, Class of 2021! Don’t take even a single second of these four years for granted.

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Elissa Hill

Elissa is a junior public relations major and the managing editor of Onward State. She is from Punxsutawney, PA [insert corny Bill Murray joke here] and considers herself an expert on all things ice cream. Send questions and comments via e-mail ([email protected]) and follow her on Twitter (@ElissaKHill) for more corny jokes.

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