Philadelphia University celebrated the arrival of 780 new students at the University’s annual Convocation ceremony on Aug. 16.
The new freshmen and transfer students, coming from 35 states and 12 countries, were welcomed by President Stephen Spinelli Jr., Ph.D., and PhilaU faculty and staff. “Today not only do you become members of the Philadelphia University family, but also members of a community of professionals,” said President Spinelli to the gathered students. “PhilaU is unique in that we treat all students, from the first day on, as the innovative, professional leaders we expect you to become.”
Katherine Jones, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology and the recipient of the 2012 President’s Award for Excellence, spoke to the new students and their families at Convocation about making the most of their PhilaU experience.
“Your time at Philadelphia University offers you a multitude of opportunities to explore things you’d never thought of before,” Jones told the students. “It will take some work on your part. Force yourself to dive headfirst into something that is new to you.”
Also at Convocation, seven new students were given the opportunity to honor their high school mentors through the bestowing of the Centennial Medal Awards. Four outstanding educators — Scott Didra, Gerald Markel, Michael Novrocki and Judy Shaner — were presented with the award for their dedication in preparing their students for college. The educators were nominated by their former students. Didra was nominated by four incoming PhilaU freshmen: Bailey Miller, Cody Myers, Haley Peluso and Daniel Wimble, all from Emmaus High School in Emmaus, Pa. Markel, Novrocki and Shaner were nominated by, respectively, Brian Schwenk from Yorktown Heights, N.Y., Sean Fertal from Lehman, Pa., and Heidi MacKenzie from Hammonton, N.J.
As the first official gathering of incoming students, Convocation marks the start of the academic year. For more information on the 2011-2012 academic year, visit the Academic Calendar.