The newest members of the Temple family were treated to grand pomp and circumstance at convocation Sunday. President Dr. Ann Weaver Hart welcomed the new Owls with open arms.
“I know this will be a wonderful time of life for all of you,” Hart said. “We are all proud of you. Be proud, be Temple Owls.”
The Liacouras Center was brimming with students, faculty and professors, all eagerly awaiting the start of the semester. Tyler School of Art students studded the audience in their brightly colored tie-dyed T-shirts. A photo slideshow of students flashed across the screen above the stage as the band played upbeat music.
Hart spoke excitedly about Temple’s newest additions. She watched students move in last week and said, “I thought about what a wonderful legacy we’re already beginning.”
This year, Temple has set a new enrollment record. Hart said there are more than 4,300 freshmen and 2,700 transfer students. She also mentioned that Temple was ranked No. 1 in a list of the most diverse student populations in the nation in the 2008 edition of the Princeton Review’s “The Best 366 Colleges.”
“You have all worked very hard to be here and I want you to know you have many reasons to be proud to be here,” Hart said.
Hart encouraged students to take advantage of all the international programs Temple has available. Hart and her husband, Randy, have established a scholarship fund to help the cost of applying for first-time passports.
Hart not only encouraged students to go abroad, but also to connect with Temple alumni.
MyOwlSpace, a new social networking Web site provided by the Office of Institutional Advancement and the Alumni Association, has been created to connect alumni and current students.
Hart said that there are more than 245,000 living Temple alumni around the world. She also said that one in eight people who hold a degree in Philadelphia are Temple graduates.
Dr. Lolly Tai was the first of many to offer congratulations to the class of 2011. Tai, who is chair of the landscape architecture and horticulture department, said college is a time of self discovery; to find your passions and ideals.
The most recent addition to the Temple family, Provost Dr. Lisa Staiano-Coico, echoed Tai’s sentiments. Staiano-Coico encouraged students to reach out and step out of their comfort zones. She said she connected with new students and considers herself a freshman as well.
Student speaker and Temple Student Government President Juan Galeano reflected nostalgically on his years at Temple and said he was jealous of the freshmen, who get to spend the next four years at the university.
“It’s an exciting time to be an Owl,” Galeano said. “Starting today you are beginning what could be the greatest time in your life.”
Temple graduate Josh Meyers encouraged new students to work hard and persevere. Meyers, who is now a graduate student in the college of engineering said, “You can’t be successful if you don’t show up.”
“You may not know what you want to do with your life, but at least do something. At the bare minimum, you’ll find out what you don’t want to do,” Meyers said.
Convocation closed with the Temple cheerleaders, the Diamond Gems Dance Team and Hooter, the school mascot, teaching new students Temple’s fight song. All in attendance sang along with Hooter to “T for Temple U.”
LeAnne Matlach can be reached at email@example.com.