“Non Nobis Solum – not for ourselves alone.” This was the motto that rang repeatedly through White Concert Hall during Washburn University’s annual Convocation tradition.
The formal kick-off to the 2014 – 2015 academic year, Convocation gave Washburn University president Jerry Farley a chance to directly address the newest class of Ichabod freshmen.
“This is a time of renewal,” said Farley. “But it’s also going to be a time of great change. You’re going to be doing things very differently than you have in the past.”
Farley’s statement served to remind the audience that they have entered a brave new world. A world defined by independence and self-reliance.
“No one is going to tell you had better eat right, you’d better get dressed, you’d better get to bed. You have that responsibility,” said Farley. “And maybe you’ve already had that responsibility, but today and for the rest of your life, you have the awesome responsibility of taking care of yourself.”
Throughout Farley’s 15 minute speech, he spoke of the importance of attributes like integrity and critical thinking, two cornerstones of a Washburn education.
Family was another message Farley attempted to drive home with his speech. Not only the family that his audience had known and loved their entire lives, but their new family – their Ichabod family.
Above all else, the purpose behind Farley’s speech was to remind students that college is a time for growth. Not only academic, but personal.
“This is a time to mold, to shape, perhaps just reinforce, perhaps refine your beliefs; the essence of what you think about things,” said Farley. “Discover new things about yourself and find your life’s direction.”
After Farley spoke, chairman and associate professor of biology John Mullican took the podium. Mullican’s speech covered his unorthodox path to his chosen profession. Starting as an architecture major before finally deciding on biology after six semesters, Mullican’s message was simple: “Find something you’re passionate about and give it all you’ve got.”
Washburn Student Government Association president Cassandra White also addressed the crowd during the ceremony. White urged students to seize every opportunity possible while at Washburn.
Convocation ended with the traditional procession of new students through the faculty tunnel, a walk that they will hopefully repeat upon graduation.