COLLEGE STATION, Aug. 19, 2008 - Texas A&M University will officially
welcome its Class of 2012 during Freshman Convocation Sunday (Aug. 24).
The 2:30 p.m. ceremony in Reed Arena is a formal welcoming of new students with all the pomp and circumstance of the commencement ceremonies that will formally end their time as students. From the colorful spectacle of the opening faculty processional to the symbols and traditions of academia and words of encouragement from accomplished professors, the event is planned to be a memorable and exciting start for new Texas A&M students, university officials note.
Texas A&M begins fall semester classes Monday (Aug. 25), and convocation organizers point out the Aggie freshman will have already gone through new-student conferences and other orientation programs in which they learn about the university's traditions and obtain other useful information. They emphasize, however, the goal for Freshman Convocation is to provide a more ceremonial setting to help students focus on the academic aspects of Texas A&M.
Kimberly N. Brown, associate professor of English and director of Africana Studies, will be the keynote speaker this year. Brown specializes in contemporary African-American literature and culture, black feminist theory, Caribbean women's literature, black film and American and Africana literatures. The focal threads that weave continuity into Brown's research agenda are issues regarding race and representation, including black agency and self actualization, black subjectivity, the black body, as well as questions of audience and spectatorship.
In addition to beginning the students' academic careers, Freshman
Convocation should give students a sense of the size, strength and identity of their class as well as connect them to the university community as a whole, said Kristin S. Harper, assistant dean for undergraduate studies, who serves on the convocation planning committee.
Just as with commencement ceremonies, parents and families are invited to attend the hour-long convocation program, which also will include remarks by Texas A&M President Elsa Murano.
Traditionally, the student body president leads the students in reciting the Aggie Code of Honor. Faculty members from each academic department join the university president, vice presidents and provost in representing the university's involvement and commitment to its newest students, Harper noted. All faculty representatives will be dressed in full academic regalia.
She said members of the Class of 2012 and their families are invited to
attend a Freshman Convocation luncheon on Sunday at Sbisa Dining Hall.
Service will be available from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. University
representatives will be on hand for informal conversation with new students and their families.
Tickets for the luncheon are $8 and available in advance through the box office at the Zone (located at the north end of Kyle Field) and on the day of Freshman Convocation (August 24) at the Reed Arena Box Office. Tickets may also be purchased at the door but, to avoid lines, advance purchase is suggested.
Students and families are encouraged to park at Reed Arena and take a
Freshman Convocation shuttle bus to Sbisa Dining Hall and then back to Reed Arena for Freshman Convocation. Shuttle busses will run continuously from 10:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
More information is available at http://www.tamu.edu/freshmanconvocation/index.html .