Convocation welcomes new students

New students circle the W on the sports field for traditional photo.

New students gathered on the sports field for their photo, a UW Bothell tradition.

By Douglas Esser, Marc Studer photos
The 12th annual University of Washington Bothell Convocation was the largest yet with nearly 500 new students and family members gathering in the Activities and Recreation Center to commence the 2017-2018 academic year.

Convocation is one of the times Chancellor Wolf Yeigh, the deans and senior faculty, in their academic caps and gowns, gather in a formal ceremony with students. Another, of course, is commencement. Together, convocation and commencement bookend the school year, building on a tradition that links current students with University history and alumni.

See all of Marc Studer's convocation photos on Flickr.

Banners of the five UW Bothell schools.All incoming first-year, transfer students and their families were invited to Sunday’s ceremony. It concluded with students filing to the front to each receive a Husky pin as their name was read aloud. The ceremony foreshadows graduation when students hear their names as they receive diplomas.

Following the ceremony, students gathered for the traditional group photo on the sports field before joining the chancellor’s picnic held in summer-like sunshine on the campus plaza.

This year there are 749 first-year students and 746 transfer students, including 75 international students, who are new to campus, the chancellor said.

Dominick Juarez and Wolf Yeigh hand out Husky pins.“This is your chance to explore and to challenge yourself. Enjoy this time in your life,” said Yeigh, emphasizing values of hard work, inclusivity and respect in the welcome. “We’re honored you have joined our community. We’re dedicated to your success.”

Dominick Juarez, president of the Associated Students of the University of Washington Bothell, urged students to get involved.

“You can create change. We have boundless opportunities here,” said Juarez who created the Black Student Union in his first year at UW Bothell.

Ian, mother Kim, and new student Sean Kirk.As the new students gathered on the sports field for their photo, Kim Kirk spotted son Sean who was wearing a red sweatshirt. The Mountlake Terrace family also has two sons at the UW in Seattle, but Sean chose UW Bothell because the campus is closer to home and felt like a better fit.

“It’s a wonderful thing. I’m very proud of them, very proud,” said Kim Kirk.

Sean Kirk already has friends on campus, and the former varsity high school basketball player is looking forward to intramural games or organizing a campus team.
“I’d love to get something started,” said Kirk, who plans to major in business or a field leading into a medical career.

Christine and Mike MilesMike Miles watched his wife, Christine, who earned an associate degree years ago in California. Christine Miles is returning to college now that two sons are in high school. Commuting from Duvall, Miles plans to major in community psychology to add academic credentials to the work she does with nonprofits. A Spanish speaker, Miles is interested in study-abroad opportunities in South America.

“It means completing something I started a long time ago,” Miles said. “Graduating class of 2019 here I come.”

Eric, Reginia and Julia Meyer at picnic.Eric and Regina Meyer are seeing their daughter Julia start college, after graduating from the International Baccalaureate program at Inglemoor High School in Kenmore. Eric Meyer works for Boeing and the family has lived in Germany and Italy with another move coming up to India. They have a son in college in Montreal.

When Julia visited UW Bothell “she felt very comfortable and appreciated the community,” Regina Meyer said. “We’ve heard a lot of good things as far as the individualized attention students get."
Julia Meyer wants to start a German Club to build on the language she learned living abroad and plans to major in health studies.

“We’re really excited for Julia to start her college career here,” Eric Meyer said.

Convocation was the highlight of Welcome Week, which included the UWBasics program on Monday. Fall quarter classes start Wednesday.