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Freshmen Welcomed at First Year Convocation 



A journey’s origin may also be its destination, but the voyager will undoubtedly be changed. How that change manifests, of course, is up to the individual traveler.

This message, delivered by the keynote speaker Russell Potter, a professor of English at Rhode Island College, at First Year Convocation, was meant to challenge members of the class of 2017 to make the most of their education and time here.

“Most of you came here to get credentials to begin careers and there is nothing wrong with that,” Potter said. “But we admire explorers who will go to great lengths and take great risks. You must be flexible, aware of your limitations and pre-conceived notions, and be willing to test them. You will press on and in the end you will still be here. But you will be different.”

About 800 students, faculty and staff attended convocation, an official welcome to the class of 2017 and a new event this year.

Holly Shadoian, assistant vice president of academic affairs, and Scott Kane, dean of students, spearheaded the effort to provide freshmen with an exclusive opportunity to socialize with each other meet and talk with faculty and learn even more about what Rhode Island College will offer them over the next four years.

“It is wonderful to see all of you here,” said President Nancy Carriuolo. “You have made a great choice in Rhode Island College. We hope the choice inspires you to reach new goals. The dividends will be immeasurable.”

Hillary Costa, president of the Student Community Government and member of the class of 2014, advised first year students on how to make the most of their time at RIC, saying they should immediately get involved in campus activities to achieve their goals.

She used her experience as a “nervous and scared” freshman who took a little while to warm up to college life.  Once she got involved with campus organizations, she said, she realized why she had come to Rhode Island College.

“At first I thought high school was as good as it was going to get,” Costa said. “I really want you to know that small steps lead to great things. You’ll accomplish things you can’t even dream to imagine.”

Potter also talked about this year’s Open Minds-Open Books selection, “PYM,” by Matt Johnson and the upcoming marathon read on Sept. 12.

Shadoian and Kane also greeted the class of 2017 before faculty and staff led freshmen to the quad’s anchor, where their class plaque will be installed until their graduation day.

Students also were treated to a brand-new ice cream cookie sandwich dessert: ‘Gold & White-it’s RIC-alicious,’ created by the Donovan Dining Center staff using the college’s signature colors.