Undergraduate Convocation, a special welcoming program at Texas A&M University for entering freshmen and transfer students, is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 31) at Reed Arena as a prelude to the start of fall semester classes the following day.
Undergraduate Convocation marks new students’ official entry into the university’s community of scholars. Organizers say its purpose is to establish an academic connection between new undergraduate students and Texas A&M.
The program is designed, they add, to communicate to students their roles both as individuals who learn from others and who contribute to the vitality of the university. It also is intended to communicate the role of faculty members as scholars, teachers and fellow members of this community.
As such, organizers say the program for Undergraduate Convocation will include a welcome from Interim President Mark A. Hussey and brief remarks by Student Body President Kyle Kelly and Provost Karan L. Watson.
The featured speaker will be César O. Malavé, professor and holder of the Sugar and Mike Barnes Department Head Chair in Industrial and Systems Engineering. Since 1987, he has taught graduate courses in the area of manufacturing systems modeling and control. At the undergraduate level, Malavé's courses include the freshman introductory course in fundamentals of engineering, engineering economy, manufacturing operations analysis and robotics.
In addition, the 2014 Presidential Professors for Teaching Excellence and the 2014 recipients of the President’s Award for Academic Advising will be formally recognized during the program.
This year’s Presidential Professors are: Louise Abbott, professor, Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, and Kim Quaile Hill, Cullen-McFadden Professor of Political Science and Eppright Professor of Undergraduate Teaching Excellence.
The recipients of the Award for Academic Advising are: Emily Dykes, program coordinator for environmental programs, College of Geosciences; Vanessa Nordell, senior academic advisor II, Department of Biology, College of Science; Lilly Sanchez-Saqib, program coordinator, Office of the Dean of College of Agriculture & Life Sciences; and Linda Windle, associate director for undergraduate programs, Mays Business School.
Undergraduate Convocation also provides students with an opportunity to gather with their classmates and join the academic community through a major campus event that parallels the importance and significance of the commencement ceremony that will mark their graduation.
In recognition of the importance of the event, students are asked to wear “business casual” attire. Planners of the event suggest that men wear long pants and a sport shirt or button-down dress shirt. Women are encouraged to wear dress pants or a skirt and top or a dress.
The new students will sit together on portable chairs on the floor and on the lower risers of Reed Arena to provide a sense of unity. Seating is available for families and friends in designated sections separate from new-student seating but with a view of the students and the ceremony. Signs and ushers in Reed Arena will provide directions for the new students and their families. Special arrangements will be provided for handicapped seating.
Free parking will be available at Reed Arena lots that can be accessed from Kimbrough Boulevard, Chandler Drive and Penberthy Street. Driving directions from Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio are available as well as a campus map. For more information about parking services, visit the Transportation Services website at http://transport.tamu.edu/.