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Penn State Welcomes Class of 2023 At Convocation Ceremony

Penn State welcomed the class of 2023 at the President’s New Student Convocation Saturday evening with several flair-filled performances and words of encouragement from University President Eric Barron and UPUA President Laura McKinney.

Colorful ugly college shirts filled the Bryce Jordan Center stands –dominated by engineering orange — during the ceremony, which opened with a performance from a capella group Blue in the FACE.

After covers of Mumford and Sons, Amy Winehouse, and the incoming class’ first BJC wave, President Barron took the stage.

“I am here to officially welcome you to what is now, officially, your university,” Barron said after the singing stopped. “I can’t wait to hear this crowd in the football stadium.”

After they were officially presented to Barron, the class linked up and swayed for its first collective singing of the Alma Mater led by Blue in the FACE.

After rattling off several facts about the incoming class — they applied from more than 9,000 schools, 1,300 of them are first-generation college students, five of them have already published a research paper — Barron offered some advice about finding their niche in their new home.

“Take advantage of the opportunities given to you,” Barron said. “At Penn State, there are many paths to take.”

“I have found that our community has an amazing capacity for goodness,” he added.

Vice Provost and Penn State parent Nick Jones offered further comments on the importance of exploring research opportunities, and the favorite ice cream flavor and favorite color of the Penn State faculty and students according to a survey — vanilla and blue, respectively.

McKinney was the evening’s final speaker.

“Congratulations on beginning your journey at the best university in the world,” she said.

“I did not know that in a few short years, Penn State would become my everything,” she added, speaking of her own freshman convocation. “Be fearless in your pursuits, because who knows where it will land you.”

Advising the new Penn Staters to take full advantage of their opportunities in Happy Valley, and leading a We Are cheer with a selfie video, McKinney assured them that they were in the right place.

“You are meant to be right where you are.”

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About the Author

Jim Davidson

Jim is a junior English and history major and the features editor for Onward State. He, like most of the Penn State undergraduate population, is from 'just outside Philadelphia,' and grew up in Spring City, Pennsylvania. He covers a variety of Penn State topics, but spends nine months of every year waiting for the start of soccer season. You can reach him via email at [email protected] or follow him on twitter @messijim.

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