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New students at convocation express enthusiasm, Badger pride

September 1, 2011 By Aimee Katz

Interim Chancellor David Ward speaks to thousands of first-year students during the Chancellor’s Convocation for New Students on Sept. 1, 2011. (Photo: Jeff Miller)

Audio mp3s from Convocation

Chancellor David Ward (transcript)

Aaron Bird Bear

Samantha Scheidt

Interim Chancellor David Ward’s voice resonated through the Kohl Center today (Sept. 1) as he officially welcomed new students to campus at the Chancellor’s Convocation for New Students.

“You are officially a Badger. Congratulations!” he said.

New students were introduced to the idea of legacies of UW–Madison — past, present and future — through a variety of speakers. Convocation was the first time Ward addressed a large group of students as interim chancellor.

Kim Krco of Cedarburg, Wis., was a new student leader at Student Orientation, Advising and Registration (SOAR).

“I am so excited to see them [new students] here,” she said. “Working all summer with new students, all I want for them is to soak up their experience and flourish.”

New students at the Kohl Center expressed nothing but anticipation of their academic year ahead.

“I am really looking forward to being independent and exploring Madison and everything it has to offer,” said Kelsey Marti, a freshman from Eagan, Minn.

Julia Weingardt of Bethesda, Md., also is eager and excited to see how the year unfolds.

“College is such a different atmosphere from where I was before,” she said. “At UW there are so many more people and opportunities. I simply cannot wait.”

In addition to SOAR staff and new students, house fellows also led their residents through the Kohl Center for convocation.

Willie Sinclair of Milwaukee is a new house fellow in Chadbourne Residential College. Though his residents just moved in this week, he can already feel positive energy on his floor.

“We’re off to a great start,” he said. “I’m glad that everyone’s Badger pride is showing through already.”

As Ward formally introduced students to the Wisconsin Idea and wished them the best as they begin their legacies, he advised them to connect with all the people in the community to serve their best interests.

“Balance your increasingly specialized scholarly pursuits with a commitment to become a part of your new campus community,” he urged students. “No matter the path you take, connect with the vibrant community that is UW.”

Adele Brumfield, director of the Office of Admissions and Recruitment, encourages students to “to give back to this community everything that it will bring you.”

Photo: Jeff Miller

Grace Mo, an exchange student from Beijing, is taking Ward’s message to heart and making the best of her time at UW–Madison.

“I am enjoying it so far,” she said. “I am eager to see how different classes are organized as well as get involved with a passionate group of students.”

Students were also urged to broaden their perspectives during their college career.

“As you embark on this new journey, take a moment to think about how you will expand your horizons,” said Adele Brumfield, director of the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. “Remember to give back to this community everything that it will bring you.”

As students placed their arms around the shoulders of their peers, they sang the traditional “Varsity.”

“Coming from a smaller place, I’m so excited to be in a new place and try new things,” said Kenny Baker of Holland, Mich. “I’m starting a new life. I’m going to be whoever I want to be.”

First-year students link arms and sing “Varsity” at the end of the convocation.

Photo: Jeff Miller