TUSKEGEE, Ala. (September 9, 2012) — The Class of 2016 and other new students officially became part of the Tuskegee University family during an induction ceremony at the 131st Fall Convocation Sunday. In a program presided over by Fitzgerald B. Bramwell, dean of the College of Arts and Science, hundreds of students gathered in the University Chapel to pledge to academic and personal excellence.
|Class of 2016 and other new students take
the induction oath during Fall Convocation.
“At a deeper level, we pledge to be kind and just to others, to celebrate life’s joys, to meet life’s challenges with courage and dignity, and to help make life better for all the world’s people,” read Kimberly Woodard, associate vice president for alumni affairs, as she administered the oath to the students.
Plans to move forward
Before the induction oath, Tuskegee University President, Gilbert L. Rochon, shared the contributions of past university presidents and the vision and goals for his tenure. He said the current capital campaign will be used for several enhancements including: improved student housing, more generous scholarships, study abroad programs, funding of more degree programs, faculty development and increasing the endowment.
“It is with great humility and unbridled determination that we collectively strive to build upon this great legacy and facilitate the advancement of Tuskegee University to the next level of preeminence,” Rochon said.
Bachelor’s degree a stepping-stone
Rochon said that the university is well positioned to move to the next level of academic advancement. He highlighted several notable aspects of the university such as being a top producer of black engineers, military commanders and veterinarians. He also said recognition of the university has increased with a greater Web and social media presence and major entertainment projects such as “Red Tails,” the George Lucas film based on the Tuskegee Airmen and “Tuskegee,” a country album by alumnus, Lionel Richie.
After a rousing recognition of the new students’ hometowns and majors, Rochon explained that the university community must commit to life-long learning and the pursuit of scholarly contributions. Calling the bachelor’s degree a stepping-stone, he encouraged the attainment of higher degrees. He also said negative rites of passage such as hazing and bullying must be eliminated and replaced by positive actions such as community service and high academic achievement.
“We must guarantee that all male and female students are entitled to study and enjoy college life without harassment, without intimidation and without fear,” Rochon said. “We require to look beyond our own ends … to determine how best to contribute our skills and contribute our expertise to do other good through the eradication of poverty, exploitation, disease, crime and ignorance.”
During the convocation, remarks were also given by: Rev. Gregory S. Gray, dean of the chapel; Antonio Minifield, president of the Student Government Association; Ruby L. Perry, associate dean for academic affairs in the School of Veterinary Medicine; and Luther S. Williams, provost and vice president of academic and student programs.
Cynthia Sellers, vice president for student affairs and enrollment management, presented Mr. and Miss Tuskegee University 2012 -2013 and their respective courts as well as the members of the SGA and University Ambassadors. The Tuskegee University Golden Voices choir, directed by Wayne A. Barr, also sang several selections throughout the program.
Ruby L. Perry, associate dean for academic affairs in the School of Veterinary Medicine, introducing Tuskegee University President, Gilbert L. Rochon.