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Incoming first-year student to speak at Chancellor’s Convocation

August 28, 2012 By Kylie Peterson

Photo: students at 2011 Chancellor’s Convocation

Students join in singing “Varsity” at last year’s Chancellor’s Convocation.

Photo: Jeff Miller

As is tradition, University of Wisconsin–Madison first-year and transfer students will attend the Chancellor’s Convocation — a formal welcome to all new students by Interim Chancellor David Ward — on Friday, Aug. 31, beginning at 10:30 a.m. in the Kohl Center. This year’s convocation theme is how legacies of the past impact the present and future.

Watch the event live:

But rather than having a current UW–Madison student address the incoming class as in previous years, a first-year student will welcome his fellow classmates to campus life. The incoming class was asked to answer the questions: “What do you hope your UW–Madison legacy will be? What will you do for UW–Madison?” After numerous entries were reviewed, Caleb Gerbitz was selected as the winning essayist and keynote speaker.

“When I found out I was chosen to speak, I was excited but naturally nervous,” says Gerbitz. “It’s such a unique way to begin my freshman year.”

Gerbitz hails from Mukwonago, Wis., and attended Immanuel Lutheran High School in Eau Claire, Wis., where he graduated from a class of 30 other students. He plans to major in mechanical engineering and chose to attend UW–Madison for its excellent program in the field. During his time on campus, Gerbitz says he is most looking forward to the big-school atmosphere, endless academic opportunities and football season.

In addition to the chancellor’s welcome and Gerbitz’s advice to his peers, School of Education academic advisor Aaron Bird Bear, Office of Admissions and Recruitment director Adele Brumfield, and Provost Paul DeLuca will address the incoming class. Convocation will end at 11:30 a.m. with Redefined, one of UW–Madison’s a cappella groups, leading students and faculty in the singing of “Varsity.”