Convocation launches year

Photos by Marc Studer, Jama Abdirahman, Acacia Rivedal
Story by Douglas Esser
The incoming class of 2020, new transfer students and their families were welcomed to the University of Washington Bothell at convocation. The ceremony Sunday was the 11th year of the tradition that officially kicks off the new academic year and the 10th year for first year students.

students on sports field W

“You’re about to embark on an educational journey at one of the best colleges in the western region,” Chancellor Wolf Yeigh told the students. “Your journey is about the leaders and contributors you become in your chosen careers and for our region.”

Wolf Yeigh

The University also welcomed 21 new faculty members. Convocation began with a procession of about 40 leading administration and faculty members in their academic regalia of mortarboards and robes.

Tanya Kumar, president of the Associated Students of University of the Washington Bothell, urged students to challenge themselves and to take advantage of the opportunities and resources on campus.

Janelle Silva, assistant professor and winner of the 2016 distinguished teaching award, urged students to take risks. “Do not settle. Be a force for the better,” she said.

This year enrollment of first-year and transfer students is an all-time high. Official enrollment numbers will be released after the 10th day of classes.

pinning handshake

Students at the convocation were presented UW Bothell pins as their names were called. That was followed by a picnic and another tradition – the group photo of all attendees on the big W on the sports field.

See all the convocation 2016 photos on flickr.

About 150 parents and other guests joined in the event in Mobius Hall and watched their children and friends pick up their UW Bothell pins as their names were called.

Catie O’Farrell was interested in hearing all the names along with her son’s, Dennis Igawa, right.

“Hearing the diversity of the names was nice,” she said.

Catie O'Farrell and son Dennis Igawa

The convocation was very uplifting and positive and a “good way to bring together an obviously diverse community,” she said. “They want you to feel part of college. And, they did a good job at orientation, so that helped.”

Igawa, who is interested in math or mechanical engineering, ate his picnic lunch with his mother outside Discovery Hall, where he already had discovered the tools in the UW Bothell Makerspace, including laser cutting and 3-D printing.

“Make whatever you want – very exciting,” he said.

Parents Justine Asohmbom and George Tunyi are familiar with University of Washington Bothell because a son graduated a couple of years ago in electrical engineering, coming out a “transformed person.”

Chantal Booth

“He improved his writing and critical thinking,” said Asohmbom. She told her son, “Now you’re talking like someone who graduated from college.”

They’re pleased with the welcome their daughter Thelma Tunyi received at convocation. “It made you feel like family, motivated, excited,” Asohmbom said.

Parents Sheila and Chuck Booth of Bothell have spent their careers in education. They say they're pleased their daughter, Chantal, above left, a transfer from Cascadia College, is following in their footsteps.

“I thought it was very welcoming, not only for students, but for parents,” said Sheila Booth. “We’re just happy she’s found a place to continue her education,” said Chuck Booth.

“I’m excited about it,” said Chantal Booth, “a small university with the same education as the University of Washington.”

students relax on W

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