Convocation – A First-Year Student Tradition
Every Fall semester, the faculty and senior administration welcome the incoming student body during the New Student Convocation. All new students and their families attend this ceremony in the late afternoon of the first official day of Orientation, and they get their first look at the pomp and circumstance that celebrate Florida Tech’s proud academic tradition.
But, what do students remember about Convocation?
Singing the alma mater – It’s a fact that Florida Tech went for many decades without an official alma mater. Since 2001, Florida Tech has used the traditional tune “Annie Lisle” by H.S. Thompson, with lyrics composed by Florida Tech’s own Mary and Ken Droscher. The recording that is used at Convocation is Florida Tech’s Players In Harmony, the choral group of Florida Tech’s College Players theatre organization.
Seeing faculty in regalia – Just like at graduation, the faculty walk in their academic regalia. Gowns, caps, stoles, hoods… The variety of color and style speaks to the diverse academic backgrounds and experiences of our faculty. Many of the faculty have doctoral caps as well. But at Florida Tech, we don’t have one. Yet!
The hall of applause – One of our Orientation and Convocation traditions is the applauding of students who come in to Convocation. The Orientation staff lines the entry of the Clemente Center and applauds the incoming students. It’s a nice promise of our graduation tradition, when the faculty applaud the graduating seniors as they make their way to the Commencement ceremony.
Dr. Catanese’s bragging about our students – It’s no secret that Florida Tech’s president, Dr. Catanese, is incredibly proud of our campus and our students. During Convocation, he takes every opportunity to tell students just how amazing they are as an incoming class as well as the caliber of education and opportunity that our university provides. He’s got plenty to brag about… we’re awesome!
How it looks like graduation – Parents comment that Convocation feels like a mini-graduation, and we do that on purpose. Convocation is the beginning of a student’s life at Florida Tech, while graduation is the transition from university to the world beyond. It’s a promise of what graduation will be like, and what that stage will look like when you earn your degree from Florida Tech.