Blackburn convocation welcomes students

Blackburn convocation welcomes students

Blackburn President, Dr. John Comerford speaks at the college's annual convocation ceremony, Aug. 21, 2013.

Blackburn President, Dr. John Comerford, speaks at the college’s annual convocation ceremony, Aug. 21, 2013.

By Daniel Winningham
Songs. Speeches, by both students and faculty. Awards. And a new student marshal.

All of that and more were part of the college’s annual Convocation Aug. 21.

The annual event also serves as a chance to provide explanations of a few of the long-standing traditions of Blackburn College, including the motto, Christo et Humanitati, or “For Christ and all Humanity,” the college hymn, banner, mace, baton and presidential garb.

For the first time, new Blackburn president John Comerford took part in the All-College Convocation as the school kicked off its 2013-14 school year at Bothwell Auditorium.

Tim Erton, a 2013 graduate, along with orientation leaders Allison Matt and Tim Hillis and Jacob Maag, the president of the student senate, provided a welcome to the class of 2016.

Erton used the letters for Beaver, Blackburn’s mascot, to highlight a few of the life lessons that students can take to heart while at Blackburn and beyond.
Erton’s list included:
B – Be Yourself
E – Ethics
A – Academics
V – Versatile
E – Energy/Enthusiasm
R – Respect
Maag said he did a lot of searching to find the perfect motivation speech but ended up going with something a family member told him.

“The world is like a giant puzzle,” Maag said, adding puzzles are filled with many odd-shaped pieces that often get lost or misplaced.

“Without them, you can’t have a full puzzle,” he added.

Maag encouraged new students to get out of their dormitory room and meet people.

“If you’re stuck in your comfort zone, there’s no room for personal growth,” he said. “Welcome to our community. Welcome to our puzzle. Welcome to our Blackburn family.”
Later on, Erton used his baton to tab the student marshal for the 2013-14 year.

“If you stretch yourself to accomplish many things, you won’t accomplish anything,” Erton said.

Provost Jeff Aper provided the definitions of the long-standing emblems.

After discussing the traditional symbols or emblems, Aper described Blackburn as a special place.

“It is a unique place in the world, and everyone has a chance to add to its history,” Aper said.

Student managers for the college’s work program are Catherine Hazelwonder and Carly Vunetich, and Hazelwonder welcomed students to the new school year during the convocation.

Faculty members Nate Rush, Sam Meredith, Chuck Sutphen and Jake Miller led the audience in the singing of “This School Is Your School.”

Pianist Pei-I Wang played “Pomp and Circumstance” as the processional and “To God Be the Glory” for the program’s recessional.

The Rev. Erica Brown, the college’s chaplain, provided an invocation and benediction for the event.

A clip of Blackburn Provost, Dr. Jeff Aper, speaking at the annual convocation ceremony.