Academic convocation kicks off 2020-21 school year at Penn State Berks

WYOMISSING, PA ­– The beginning of the 2020-2021 academic year will look at bit different at Penn State Berks this fall in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. However faculty and staff have developed creative ways to deliver a wide variety of remote programs to students. One example is the New Student Convocation, which will welcome nearly 724 members of the Class of 2024 to the college on Monday, Aug. 24, beginning at 12:15 p.m. It is open to first-year and transfer students, as well as all Berks faculty and staff.

The ceremony will be held virtually through Zoom and students will receive an email with the Zoom web address for the event. All new, first-year students – whether they are starting the fall semester taking in-person classes or learning remotely – are required to attend New Student Convocation, which serves as an official introduction to academic and student life at Penn State Berks.

For the ceremony, faculty will don their academic regalia. The ceremony will begin with senior Ifeoluwa “Ife” Ogunyinka singing the national anthem. The processional will be led by Jessica Schocker, chair of the Faculty Senate and associate professor of social studies education and women’s studies. Students will be welcomed by Janelle Larson, interim associate dean of academic affairs; and Michael Shott, student government association president. Chancellor R. Keith Hillkirk will give introductory remarks and the keynote presentation will be delivered by Dawn Pfeifer Reitz, assistant teaching professor in communication arts and sciences.

First-year and transfer students will be asked to commit to the college’s core values of personal and academic integrity and social responsibility.

The ceremony will conclude with ESPN’s “We Are” video, which describes the origins of the University’s famous motto, and the singing of the national anthem.