Warm Flames welcome

students at freshman convocation

Nearly 3,000 new students attended Convocation Sunday at the Pavilion. Photo: Elizabeth Monge

For thousands of first-year students, Sunday marked the successful start of their college experience, thanks to a display of burning school spirit at the annual New Student Convocation.

Nearly 3,000 members of the record-breaking freshman class of 4,000 attended Convocation, which introduces freshmen and transfer students to campus leaders, traditions and legacies. Held at the Pavilion, the event welcomes the newest members of the academic community to the UIC family and serves as an inspirational kick-off for the school year, which began today.

On Sunday, UIC hosted the event for the students and their 4,000 guests, the largest group ever gathered for Convocation in UIC’s history.

“We are excited that you have chosen UIC,” Chancellor Michael Amiridis told students, who waved their red-and-blue pompoms throughout the event to show they were excited, too. “I know you will be future leaders.”

Among remarks made by campus leaders one message was clear: UIC has a lot to offer, and students have many opportunities to grow on and off campus.

“You are about to embark on your college experience, what I’d like to call an intellectual feast,” said Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan Poser, pointing to the award-winning faculty members who make UIC a leader in academics and research.

Guest speaker Michael Jones, clinical assistant professor of kinesiology and nutrition, offered some advice: take UIC one bite at a time.

“Learning, achieving is about the process, not the outcome,” he said. “I want you to know we’re in it with you.”

Students saw the lighting of the flame, a longtime campus tradition, and learned the Fight Song, which was presented by Sparky, the UIC Dance Team, cheerleaders and the UIC Pep Band.

Convocation was capped with words from head men’s basketball coach Steve McClain, who made sure the incoming class was fired up before the welcome picnic held after the event, and for their next few years at UIC.

“Get involved,” McClain said. “You’re at a great university, we want you to be part of it.”

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