Gannon’s newest students officially were welcomed into the University Community during the 25th annual New Student Convocation, held Saturday, Aug. 18 in Hammermill Center.

Convocation is an academic ceremony as well as an important milestone for the new students as they make the transition to college life. “Embracing Global Awareness” was the theme of the Convocation, which is part of Preview GU activities the students are participating in prior to the start of Fall 2012 Semester classes.

“Enjoy your independence and acknowledge the responsibilities that come with it,” Gannon President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., said in his address to the students. “We have been given a gift to be part of this University family and the privilege of an exceptional education. Grab it with both hands. Take advantage of all it has to offer. And do so with the express intentions of transforming yourself, thoroughly enjoying yourself, and bringing joy and opportunity to others you meet through your service and outreach activities as you contribute to the University’s Erie-GAINS and globalization efforts.

“Past Gannon students, faculty and staff have set a high bar, but I’m confident that – working together – we can raise it even higher,” added Dr. Taylor, shown here during his remarks. “You and your parents, family and friends can rest assured that we will be here to help you every step of the way.”

Angela Coustillac, president of Gannon’s Student Government Association, also addressed the students, encouraging them to be active on campus, embrace their fellow students and learn from them, work diligently in their courses and be excited about the possibilities that await.

“Go out and start the rest of your life as the best person you can be,” Coustillac added.

During the Convocation ceremony, each student was given their own Gannon pin and a small card with the University’s Mission statement.

Interesting facts about the freshmen and transfer students:

  • The students are from 19 states.
  • The students are from 18 countries.
  • The students graduated from high school classes as small as 21 students and as large as 819.
  • The new class includes 11 class valedictorians and three salutatorians.
  • Some 115 freshmen were members of the National Honor Society.

Following Convocation, the new students participated in the annual PROMISE (PromotingResponsible Ongoing Management in Social Environments) photo under the Gannon Arch, outside the Waldron Campus Center. The new students pledged to make healthy and responsible decisions with regard to alcohol and other situations, to show respect for God, themselves and others, and to support the Gannon Community.

This article was originally posted at on August 20, 2012.