Thursday, August 20, 2009

Coker Holds Opening Convocation 2009-2010

Dr. Robert Wyatt, Coker's 16th president, was the keynote speaker at the opening convocation of Coker College on August 20. Using a theme of ensure you make a difference, Dr. Wyatt cautioned his audience of students, faculty, staff, and community that in the words of psychologist William James, "A difference that makes no difference is not different." His message was one of urging students to take hold of their Coker experience so they can craft a person who will go on to make lasting impressions in the world.

There is a two-minute video that captures a little of this speech. You may have turn your speaker volume to high, but the message is so much stronger coming from Dr. Wyatt than from these cyber words.

The Convocation was highlighted by recognizing top students in each of the classes. This formal calling together of the Academic Community is one of those experiences that makes working at a liberal arts college a truly distinctive experience.

The organizers also kept this event to less than 35 minutes and that appeared to be great timing. Just a note about Dr. Will Carswell's, chair of the faculty senate, admonition to students -- he called on students from each of the college levels, first year to seniors to stand and to understand that this privilege of a college education was their responsibility to grasp and make happen. I think the students heard the message loud and clear and from their enthusiasm as they left the building, they understood this calling together was about their education.

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