August 23, 2010
Led by a trio of bagpipers and Dean of Students David Bergh, the Johnson State College Class of 2014 processed through the college Quad and into Dibden Center for the Arts for the annual Opening Convocation ceremony. As the students filed into Dibden, they were enthusiastically cheered on by a "Welcome Cordon" of robed faculty members, as well as current students, part-time faculty and staff.
After a short performance by JSC jazz musicians, JSC President Barbara E. Murphy welcomed the new students, new full-time faculty members Kathleen Brinegar (Education), Sean Clute (Fine Arts), Perry LaRoque (Education), Bethany Plissey (Performing Arts), Jacob White (Writing and Literature) as well as the returning members of the community, and noted that the new academic year inspires the entire community to work hard and recommit itself to its goals. The new year, said President Murphy, "Enables a refocusing on the essential purpose of our being together - being a teaching and learning community." Academic Dean Daniel Regan addressed the new students in particular, encouraging them to not only think of themselves as college students, but to envision themselves as college graduates.
And Writing and Literature Professor Tyrone Shaw gave an overview of his recent tripl to the war-ravaged region of Nagorno-Karabakh, a disputed territory in Azerbaijan and the complicated and volatile situation there.
The annual ceremony comes on the heels of New Student Orientation Weekend, a three-day event which helps new students settle in to their new community. In addition to the formal ceremony and a community barbecue, the day ended with a free, community-only concert by Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars.
452 new students have enrolled at JSC for the start of the fall 2010 semester.