Promise and anticipation filled White Concert Hall Monday afternoon as hundreds of the newest Ichabods gathered for convocation. They received a formal welcome to the Washburn University family and to the next chapter of their lives.
“You are in a perpetual state of becoming,” Margaret Wood, an associate professor of sociology and anthropology, told the Class of 2016. “Undertake this journey with a sense of gusto.”
Wood has worked at Washburn for 10 years and each of those, she said, she has been filled with the same excitement on the first day of classes that she felt as a child. “If you can hold on to only a fraction of this feeling, you will live a life filled with joy.”
Eric Benedict, president of the Washburn Student Government Association, told those gathered that the Ichabod logo is more than a man in a top hat and bow tie. The drawing, by Bradbury Thompson, he said, reflects values that enhance the college experience.
Be courteous, be democratic and open to all points of view and “adapt to this University,” Benedict said. “Leave this University better than when you found it. Find where you fit on this campus and make a difference.”
Washburn President Jerry Farley also told the students to seek out their passion on campus by participating in clubs, activities and service.
“If you go to classes, go to work, go back to your room and go to the library – I hope you go to the library – you will make “A”s, but you will miss so much of the college experience if that’s all you do while you’re here,” he said. Research shows students who are involved on campus outside of class are more likely to graduate, Farley said, and “you’ll learn more and have more fun while you’re here.”
The students, faculty and staff were reminded they are part of something bigger than themselves with a video prepared in celebration of Washburn’s upcoming sesquicentennial. It features the story of the University’s second 50 years and the motto, Non Nobis Solum, “not for ourselves alone.”
Wood said that the feeling of anticipation that comes with the first day of school, “is the spark of excitement and love of learning that unites us all.”