MURFREESBORO — MTSU will welcome its newest additions to the university family this Sunday, Aug. 23, with the first formal gathering of the new 2015-16 academic year: University Convocation.
At 2 p.m. Sunday inside Murphy Center, MTSU faculty will march in their academic regalia to dramatic compositions performed by the MTSU Band of Blue. President Sidney A. McPhee will explain the university’s traditions and rituals to the new freshmen and transfer students.
The students will then hear from author Jay Allison, who returns to campus with “This I Believe II: More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women,” the 2015 Summer Reading Selection.
MTSU supporters who can’t attend the ceremony in person can watch it online live Aug. 23 via special streaming video. Details are available at http://ow.ly/ABXYT.
Allison, an independent producer and journalist, also compiled the first “This I Believe” book of essays and was scheduled to be part of MTSU’s first “Opening Night Ceremony” at Floyd Stadium in August 2014. The event was rained out, however, and Allison agreed to return this year to Convocation in the more weather-friendly comfort of Murphy Center’s Hale Arena.
Allison’s “This I Believe” series features essays that offer words of experience and guidance about life and change. The new compilation’s contributors range from cellist Yo-Yo Ma, professional skateboarder Tony Hawk, anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean and author Robert Fulghum to less-well-known folks like a diner waitress, an Iraq War veteran, a farmer, and a new husband.
Now in its 14th year, MTSU’s popular Summer Reading Program has provided a unifying experience for new freshmen as they begin their college careers. The students are expected to read each book before classes start, and all University 1010 classes will discuss it this fall. Faculty campuswide also are incorporating the book into their fall lesson plans.
Bringing the authors of those program books — including Paul Rusesabagina, Rick Bragg, Anne Garrels, Dwayne Betts and Tori Murden McClure — to speak at University Convocation each year gives the newcomers an even stronger link to their new experience.
First-year students are expected to attend Convocation; their families and members of the MTSU and surrounding communities are welcome, too. The ceremony is always free and open to the public.
A searchable, printable campus parking map is available at http://tinyurl.com/MTSUParking2015-16.
University Convocation is part of MTSU’s annual “Week of Welcome” celebration and marks the beginning of each academic year at MTSU. This fall begins the university’s 105th year of educating Tennessee’s best.
For a complete “Week of Welcome” schedule, visit http://www.mtsu.edu/nsfp/welcome.php or call the Office of New Student and Family Programs, part of MTSU’s Division of Student Affairs, Enrollment and Academic Services, at 615-898-2454 for more information.