Hartwick Community Gathers to Welcome Class of 2013

September 4, 2009

The Hartwick College community welcomed the Class of 2013 Friday afternoon with words of encouragement and a rousing round of applause, marking the official opening of the 2009-10 academic year. Gathered under a tent on Frisbee Field, faculty, staff, families, and friends greeted the College’s first year and transfer students during Opening Convocation, the first academic gathering of the year.

“Our gathering as a community of learners is what we celebrate today,” President Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich said, addressing a class that will need to prepare for careers and learn skills that don’t yet exist in today’s workplace. “How can you prepare for this inevitable unknown? You’ve taken the most important step by being here today.”

“The best way to learn how to prepare for the inevitable unknown is to learn how to learn,” she said. “You will do this at Hartwick.”

Drugovich concluded her introductory remarks with the words that have long marked the outset of Hartwick gatherings, accompanied by the ringing of the Hartwick bell. “The company of scholars is assembled,” she said, “let the ceremonies begin!”

Vice President for Enrollment Management David Conway next presented the Class of 2013 to the College, praising the students’ talent and diversity. He noted the many accomplishments of this year’s first year students—among them Eagle Scouts, world travelers, volunteers, performers, and National Honor Society members. “It’s not hard to be impressed with your many achievements,” he said.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Tannenbaum and Student Senate President Dominique Thomas ’10 also welcomed this year’s 407 first year and 31 transfer students.

“You are the primary reason that Hartwick exists. You are Hartwick,” Tannenbaum said. “You now have the primary responsibility for your academic success. … Being Hartwick means acknowledging and acting upon this responsibility.”

Thomas offered the students words of advice for succeeding in their four years on Oyaron Hill: Try something new every chance you get, be a leader, have fun, and give academics your all. “College is four years of your life that happen once,” she said.

Chair of the Board of Trustees James J. Elting, M.D., also took the podium to paint a picture of the Hartwick community—faculty, families, and friends who will help guide the students through their academic careers. “We are Hartwick,” he said. “It’s a wonderful, wonderful place. Enjoy yourselves.”

This year's musical interlude was performed by Breanna Bradley '13, who was joined by Instructor Kim Paterson on Climb Ev'ry Mountain from The Sound of Music.

Bringing a new component to this year’s ceremony were Professor of Biology Stanley Sessions, Kyle Armstrong ’10, and Emmanuella Brakye ’11, who demonstrated their version of Hartwick’s strong collaborative learning environment.

“One of the most exciting things about Hartwick is the chance to get involved in student-faculty collaboration,” Sessions said, acting as part-moderator, part-educator. The trio's entertaining, running dialogue demonstrated how collaborative research is borne out of the sharing of ideas and the give-and-take of an interactive learning community.

“Student-faculty collaboration will help you fulfill your dreams and aspirations here at Hartwick,” Sessions said.

Bringing the ceremony to a close, Drugovich again addressed the Class of 2013 before Resident Artist in Voice Dr. Stephen Markuson led the assembly in the College’s alma mater, Oyaron Hill of Dreams, and the Rev. Paul Messner offered a benediction.

“I expect you to trust your faculty,” Drugovich said. “I expect you to come to me when you need to be reminded that you can be successful. I expect you to make your parents cry at least once before you graduate, but not because you’ve done something that made them sad. I expect that your greatest success lies just and always at the end of your reach.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,480 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick’s expansive Liberal Arts in Practice curriculum merges traditional liberal arts study, personalized teaching, and experiential learning approaches to emphasize Connecting the Classroom to the World. Add to that a wide range of off-campus internships, collaborative research, study-abroad opportunities, and a unique January Term, and Hartwick prepares students for the world ahead. Strong financial aid and scholarship programs keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Jennifer Moritz
Phone: 607-431-4038