The 2017-18 academic year began with faculty and staff lining the sidewalk as the first-year students processed to opening convocation.
The Concordia Band created a festive environment as hundreds of new students took their seats for the official beginning of their academic career at Concordia.
The Rev. Elly McHan opened the convocation with prayer and Dr. Eric Eliason, dean of the college and vice president for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Karl Stumo, vice president for Enrollment and Marketing, presented the new students.
Student Government Association President Ahna Van Valkenburg ’18 encouraged the new crop of Cobbers to try new things and enjoy themselves. She noted that throughout her years at college things didn’t always go as she had hoped, but she always learned from adversity.
“I know that you will be involved and if you put yourself into it … you will be changed for it,” she said.
Dr. Lisa Sethre-Hofstad, vice president for Student Development and Campus Life, encouraged students to be intentional about the choices they make and use the vast resources of people around them who can help.
“You will be stronger if you lock arms with others in the community, with those who surround you here,” she said.
Responsible engagement in the world was the aspiration President William Craft called on each new student to strive to attain. He went back to the college’s humble beginnings and spoke about the institution’s unwavering purpose.
“This entire place was founded and is organized now so you can flourish in learning,” he said.
Following the singing of “Hymn to Concordia,” first-year and transfer students gathered on Olin Hill to toss their beanies skyward signifying a new year had begun.