The Niagara University class of 2016 arrives on Monteagle Ridge Friday morning, and what a welcome they will receive.
After the new students arrive, check in and have a class photo taken, Niagara will kick off its 156th year with a convocation for the freshmen and their families. The event, now in its 10th year, will be held in the upper level of the Gallagher Center on the Lewiston campus. Instituted in 2003, the new student convocation is an opportunity for new students to develop a true connection to the university and provides a chance for parents to share in an important transition in the lives of their sons or daughters.
The event itself is designed as a complement to the commencement ceremonies that graduating students experience at the conclusion of their college careers. Like graduation, it includes faculty from each academic department, a procession and recession of the students, and a host of other academic and administrative members.
This year's new student convocation will feature a welcome from Dr. Timothy Downs, NU's vice president for academic affairs; an invocation delivered by the Rev. Kevin G. Creagh, C.M., NU's vice president of campus ministry; and the singing of the American and Canadian national anthems by Marina Laurendi, Class of 2016. Remarks will also be offered to incoming students by Dr. Jamie Carr, assistant professor of English; Keith Sanger, D.D.S., '85; Dr. Kalen Churcher, assistant professor of communication studies; Skylar Fairchild, '13; and the Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M., Niagara president.
Following the convocation, freshmen say goodbye to their loved ones and commence new student orientation with their Niagara family. The program begins at 3 p.m. with "NU Beginnings," a seminar that informs students how their academic courses of study integrate with the university's mission, general education curriculum and student life. The program continues with a class walk to Whirlpool State Park and picnic (4:30 to 7 p.m.), as well as a host of other events throughout the weekend, including a hypnotist, carnival, community service event, outdoor movie, student workshops and an orientation-concluding fireworks display Monday night (9:30 p.m.).
Classes begin Tuesday, Sept. 4.