Fall semester kicks off with convocation


“We want to make your experience unique and enjoyable so you can look back in ten years and smile,” Student Body Vice President Jibran Ahmed said. 

Convocation gave an official Grizzly welcome to incoming students at Oakland University on Sept. 3. 

The event is the formal beginning of incoming students career at OU. It consisted of various speakers, videos and a chance to join in singing the OU Fight Song. 

“You are now part of a community that is expanding and growing at an extraordinary level,” Michael Kramer, chair on the Board of Trustees, said. “At Oakland University we have a 22-to-1 student to faculty ratio. You are part of a close knit educational group.” 

Jibran Ahmed, Student Congress vice president, opened the ceremony. 

“We want to make your experience unique and enjoyable so you can look back in ten years and smile,” Ahmed said. 

The Convocation featured eight different speakers throughout the ceremony. The group welcomed the mass addition to the Grizzly family with smiles on their faces.

 Many encouraged freshman to take full advantage of the opportunities at Oakland. 

“No matter what major you choose you’ll discover hands on opportunities at Oakland,” James Lentini, senior vice president for Academic Affairs and provost said. 

He then went on to introduce the keynote speaker, dean of the Honors College, Graeme Harper.

“He is ambitious, worldly and fun,” Lentini said. 

Harper took the stage and welcomed incomers to Monster’s University and tossed a monster hat into the students. He then went on to explain his analogy. 

Harper used generational puns to relate to his audience.

“Freshmen, you are the scariest thing on this campus,” Harper said. “You’ve heard Hagrid off ‘Harry Potter’ was a giant, and you weren’t afraid. You listen to Imagine Dragons and probably sing along with them.”

Harper went on to remind the freshmen of the fearlessness of the university.

“Freshmen like you have monster ambitions and frightening potentials,” Harper said. “Just like you this university does not fear, it never has. 

Videos played after each speaker that featured graduates offering motivational insights to their new Grizzly family. 

Freshmen were encouraged to take advantages and embrace their new surroundings. Glenn McIntosh, interim vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management informed students about the 20 unique campus departments here to assist students throughout their college career. 

“Student affairs is ready to help anytime, anywhere — bring it on,” McIntosh said. 

 After the ceremony, freshmen were encouraged to check out the involvement fair that was held from 4 to 5 p.m. on the north side of Oakland Center which showcased student organizations around campus. 

“You have come to the right place to make your dreams a reality,” Interim President Betty J. Youngblood said.