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Wildcat Welcome Wraps With President's Convocation

Schapiro, other leaders welcome new students, offer advice on eve of classes

  • President urges students to go easy on themselves, take care of each other
  • Have at fun: Northwestern performances, full of the next stars of stage, screen and song
  • One Book One Northwestern events highlighted
  • Student musical groups perform for newest Wildcats

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Concluding a week of Wildcat Welcome events, Northwestern University President Morton Schapiro urged the newest Wildcats to go easy on themselves and have fun, including taking time to experience the great performances that routinely take place on Northwestern’s and Chicago’s stages.

The annual President’s Convocation was the last event of the week of Wildcat Welcome icebreakers and orientation sessions for Northwestern’s Class of 2019 and new transfer students.

The convocation also included advice from other University leaders and rounded out with musical performances by The Treblemakers, the University’s East Asian-interest student a cappella group and the Northwestern University Marching Band.

On the eve of the start of classes (Sept. 21), President Schapiro counseled the new students about the challenges of transitioning from high school to college. Good things, academically and socially, take time, he said.

“We understand that this is one of the most difficult transitions you’ll ever make in your lives. Don’t think if things are difficult that it is on you. Realize that we are there to help you,” Schapiro said. “And, in addition to going easy on yourself, you should really look out for each other.”

He also urged new students to take full advantage of all the intellectual and cultural opportunities the University and surrounding Evanston and Chicago communities have to offer, noting that many Northwestern music and theatre performances are full of the next stars of stage, screen and song.

Patricia Telles-Irvin, vice president for student affairs, echoed Schapiro’s comments. She said the Northwestern experience is about excellence, not perfection.

Telles-Irvin also offered new students a challenge.

“You are going to have moments that are uncomfortable, and your perspectives will be challenged,” she said. “Someone once said, ‘I believe that not much happens of any significance when we are in our comfort zone.’ So, I encourage you to seek out those uncomfortable moments and try to learn from them as well.”

Loren Ghiglione, faculty chair of the 2015-16 One Book One Northwestern program, touched upon a variety of upcoming programming surrounding this year’s community reading selection, “Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America.” Thomas King’s keynote address on his provocative book will take place Oct. 14.

New students also received a warm welcome from Kathryn Mlsna, president of the Northwestern Alumni Association.

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