Gee to freshmen: Make each day count
Published: Monday, September 20, 2010
Updated: Saturday, June 16, 2012 00:06
President E. Gordon Gee officially welcomed about 7,000 freshmen and transfer students to Ohio State on Monday morning at the annual President's Convocation at St. John Arena.
Students filling the arena floor and surrounding seats were confronted by a sea of scarlet and gray from the Men's Glee Club and the marching band. O-H-I-O chants reverberated throughout the arena and culminated in an eruption of applause. But a calm came over the crowd when speakers delivered the main message of the program: get involved, seize the day and make the most of the next four years — or five.
Students received this advice from seven speakers, led by Gee, to focus on the importance of getting involved. He stressed the need for students to test themselves by being adventurous and taking advantage of opportunities, including internships and study abroad.
"Make the most of this time; it will not come again … make each day count," Gee said. "This is the place to expand your horizons to any and all opportunities."
Aside from his ability to cause an earthquake of laughter with his top-10 rookie mistakes, wisecracks about opposing athletic teams and a list of obscure items found in Mirror Lake, Gee impressed students with his overall presence.
"I think this is something really unique," said first-year Katherine O'Hara. "He seems to do a lot with the university, and it's cool to be this close to him in person."
Echoing Gee's comments to first-years, Undergraduate Student Government President Micah Kamrass encouraged students to experience all that the university has to offer.
"I hope that you will see that this university is a university of endless opportunity," he said.
Other speakers at the ceremony included Mabel Freeman, assistant vice president of Undergraduate Admissions and First Year Experience Freeman; Javaune Adams-Gaston, vice president for the Office of Student Life; Joseph A. Alutto, executive vice president and provost; Richard Shiels, associate professor in the Department of History at Newark; and surprise guest Archie Griffin.
Before the event, Freeman said, "I've always thought Convocation is really a mixture of focusing on traditions, academic messages, and the spirit and goodwill of the university, and I think people will hear that."
Students learned tradition by experiencing their first college processional and participating in OSU's alma mater, "Carmen Ohio." Attendees eagerly received an envelope containing a scarlet and gray tassel, a constant reminder of why they are here, and a Block O pin to symbolize OSU's excellence and tradition.
"I'm really excited," said first-year Jaclyn Mowery. "It's just really exciting to be here with everyone."