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Convocation to welcome new students, celebrate legacy

August 30, 2011 By Aimee Katz

On Thursday, Sept. 1, University of Wisconsin–Madison Interim Chancellor David Ward will welcome first-year and transfer students to the university at the Chancellor’s Convocation for New Students.

Serving as a bookend to commencement, convocation – at 10:30 a.m. in the Kohl Center — formally welcomes students into the campus community as they begin their Wisconsin Experience. This year, the focus of convocation is the fulfillment of the Wisconsin Idea and legacies.

Aaron Bird Bear, an academic adviser in the School of Education, will introduce the theme of legacies with respect to Wisconsin’s American Indian history. Bird Bear will touch on how prior to becoming UW–Madison, campus grounds were a home to American Indians and burial mounds.

Challenging students to take the perspective of others seriously and work across differences, he will urge students to embrace the diverse experiences they will encounter on campus.

Other speakers include admissions and recruitment director Adele Brumfield and Provost Paul M. DeLuca Jr.

DeLuca will formally introduce the new students of 2011 to Interim Chancellor Ward. Ward, already having a legacy as a previous chancellor, will talk to students about living out their own legacies.

Traditionally, the keynote speaker at convocation is a student. Students were to answer the question: “What will you hope your UW–Madison legacy will be? Who do you want to become?”

Ward will introduce finalists of the writing contest and then Samantha Scheidt, an incoming freshman from Muskego, Wis., will speak.

Scheidt will offer straightforward and meaningful advice to her peers: use your distict personality to create your own Wisconsin Experience. By pursuing your passions, you will leave your legacy on this campus and grow by experience.

After engaging in the tradition of singing “Varsity,” students will exit following faculty. Upon reaching the gates of the Kohl Center, they will receive a copy of “Enrique’s Journey,” by Sonia Nazario. The nonfiction work is the selection of Go Big Read, UW–Madison’s common reading program.