University’s 25th Convocation Ushers In New Academic Year

Philadelphia University welcomed some 730 freshmen and their families at the University’s 25th annual Convocation on Aug. 20.

Inside the Gallagher Athletic, Recreation and Convocation Center, an unusual speaker presented the Lawrence Katz Memorial Lecture to the near-capacity crowd of students and their families. In recognition of its 125th Anniversary, the University’s founder, Theodore Search – or rather, an actor portraying him – presented the keynote address.
Search, who founded what was then called the Philadelphia Textile School, entered the ceremony riding a Segway and listening to an iPod – bridging the gap between the University’s 1884 founding and its modern-day position as a 21st century professional university.

“While the changes are immense…what remains the same is the mission: to create successful leaders,” he said. “This school was created by a simple idea, and it is the students who push the boundaries, create new ideas and advance the success of Philadelphia University.” Search’s full speech – and his grand entrance and exit – is available on YouTube and as a PDF.

A highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of the Centennial Medal Award to three high school teachers: John Dirr (back left) of Delran High School, Delran, N.J., nominated by first-year student, Shannon Donohue (front left); Nancy Rudolph (back middle) of Paul M. Hodgson Vocational Technical High School, Newark, Del., nominated by first-year student, Lisa Wasik (front middle); and Christopher Nagel (back right) of Bethel Park High School, Bethel Park, Pa., nominated by first-year student, Christine Michalek (front right).

As the first official gathering of incoming students, Convocation marks the start of the academic year. For more information on the 2009-2010 academic year, visit the Academic Calendar.

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