New students from across the country and around the world shone in specks of maize and blue throughout Crisler Arena on Thursday night as University administrators and student leaders welcomed the class of 2014 to the University at New Student Convocation.
This year’s ceremony was themed “Widen Your Worldview,” which served as the keystone underlying each speaker’s address to the freshmen class.
The University’s new provost, Philip Hanlon, who’s now two months into the position, welcomed students and their families and expressed his high expectations for the class of 2014.
“As Michigan students you can achieve and we expect you to achieve great things. Go for it,” Hanlon said.
Michigan Student Assembly President Chris Armstrong encouraged students to open up to themselves and others by being true to who they really are.
“Your time here in Ann Arbor is as much about your own self-discovery as it is about your career,” Armstrong said.
Ted Spencer, associate vice provost and executive director of the University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions, spoke next about the importance of diversity and the magnitude that comes with being a Wolverine.
“You will join students from over 1,900 different high schools, all 50 states and almost 70 countries, giving you the opportunity to widen your worldview with classes from many diverse backgrounds,” Spencer said.
“And after graduation you will become part of the largest network of alums in the world,” he continued.
With a record number of more than 32,000 applicants for this year’s class, the University’s incoming freshmen had a mean grade point average of 3.8, Spencer said. And 13 percent of the new class earned a perfect 4.0 GPA, he said.
In her remarks, University President Mary Sue Coleman echoed with Armstrong’s sentiment in regards to self-growth, and also continued the theme of the evening by speaking about widening one’s perceptions of people and the world.
“College is about ideas, viewpoints, and questions — and the myriad directions they take your mind,” Coleman said.
Some students like LSA freshman Emily Martin left the ceremony feeling more confident about starting their first year at the University than before they entered Crisler Arena.
“Coming to Michigan, you’re scared and anxious,” Martin said. “It was comforting to hear all these kind words.”