Convocation kicks off 2019-20 academic year


New University of Washington Bothell undergraduate students, many accompanied by proud family members, kicked off the 2019-20 academic year at Convocation on Sept. 22 in the Activities & Recreation Center.

The ceremony formally welcomed incoming first-year and transfer students to the university. Purple and gold banners for each school at UW Bothell as well as a procession of faculty and administrators in their academic robes evoked centuries of traditions that shape higher education even today.

‘You deserve to be here’

Chancellor Wolf Yeigh noted that the future graduating Class of 2023 is UW Bothell’s 14th first-year class. More than 800 first-year students, nearly 800 transfer students — plus approximately 200 new graduate students — joined more than 4,000 continuing undergraduate and graduate students on campus this autumn.

Yeigh noted that nearly half the new students on campus are first-generation, which means they would be the first in their immediate family to receive a four-year degree. Also among the new class are more than 40 students from overseas.

“Let me assure you, you all deserve to be here,” Yeigh said. “This is your place.”

The keynote speaker, Julie Shayne, a principal lecturer in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, advised students to “pick the major that makes you passionate.”

Shayne also encouraged students to meet with faculty during their “office hours” to get advice, resources and help.

“We love being at a campus that prioritizes the relationship between students and faculty,” Shayne said.

The president of the Associated Students of the University of Washington Bothell, Shugla Kakar, also spoke to her new classmates. Her advice was to “find what you are passionate about and seize every opportunity.”

Welcome to the pack

In a tradition that concludes the annual UW Bothell Convocation ceremony, Yeigh and Kakar then gave new students a UW Bothell pin as their names were called and they filed past the stage.

The student procession, Yeigh said, is a precursor for the ceremony students can expect when they graduate.

A picnic for students and their families followed in the North Creek Events Center.

One of the parents at Convocation was Mitch Gatchalian, whose son Anton is a first-year student planning to study business.

“It was an excellent way for the faculty and staff to show they are 100% behind students in the commitment to discover themselves and succeed,” he said.

Ceremony photos

Ceremony images can be found on Flickr

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