Convocation 2020 welcomes new Buckeyes to Ohio State Newark

a man wearing a hat: Ohio State Newark Dean/Director William L. MacDonald, PhD, welcomed new students during a virtual Convocation on August 24.

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Ohio State Newark Dean/Director William L. MacDonald, PhD, welcomed new students during a virtual Convocation on August 24.

NEWARK – First-year students on the campus of The Ohio State University at Newark were officially welcomed to the Buckeye family during a virtual Convocation held on August 24, the day before the start of autumn semester classes. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the annual event, which formally signals the start of the new academic year, transitioned to a virtual format for the first time. More than 350 new students participated in Convocation 2020, which featured both live and recorded messages from campus leadership, faculty, staff and current students.

While virtual Convocation lacked the traditional opening procession of robed faculty, Ohio State Newark Dean/Director William L. MacDonald, PhD, gave a nod to tradition by presenting his live address in full academic regalia. Appearing via Zoom masked and outside from the heart of the Newark campus, MacDonald encouraged the new Buckeyes to “Take the lead … get involved” and to “leave your mark in such an extraordinary time.” 

Keynote speaker Associate Professor of history Mitchell Lerner, PhD, urged the students to take advantage of the endless opportunities available at Ohio State Newark and called upon them to fulfill the promise of an Ohio State education.


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“Whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability,” said Lerner. “I would hope that your stay here at Ohio State Newark launches you … to inspire, and to lead, and even to change when necessary. You can aspire to work for NASA, or to study climate change in India, or to teach students with disabilities, or work on multi-dimensional algebra … But on behalf of all of my faculty colleagues at the Newark campus, I hope that you will let us be part of that process of helping you to get there. Welcome to Buckeye Nation.”

Upholding a time-honored Ohio State tradition, prior to the ceremony’s conclusion the new students were invited to join in the singing of “Carmen Ohio,” Ohio State’s alma mater, albeit this year with a video rendition instead of a live performance.

A video of Convocation 2020 is available on Youtube. 

Ohio State Newark welcomes more than 1,400 new students this autumn. And as the semester gets underway, virtual Convocation was a positive representation of how Ohio State Newark is creatively adapting to lessen the spread of COVID-19. And whether in a classroom, a favorite library study spot or a research lab, Ohio State’s students are experiencing plenty of redesigned learning spaces this autumn, as well as other health and safety modifications throughout university life. From daily health checks, lowered classroom occupancy limits, the use of personal protective equipment, physical distancing and other actions, every person at Ohio State has a role to play, and every action matters.

The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that’s inclusive of diversity, challenging but supportive with world-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It’s where learning comes to life. Research, study abroad and service-learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.

This article originally appeared on Newark Advocate: Convocation 2020 welcomes new Buckeyes to Ohio State Newark

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