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Westminster College Welcomes 364 New Students at Opening Convocation Ceremony

Posted on Friday, August 25, 2000

Westminster College welcomed 364 new students to campus during Friday's Opening Convocation ceremony. The ceremony marked the start of Westminster's 148th academic year.

The newest additions to the Westminster family are academically prepared for success with an average 1,091 SAT score, 23 ACT score, and 3.4 high school grade point average.

"Westminster's class of 2004 are highly motivated students who want to be challenged by one of the nation's finest liberal arts colleges while thriving in our supportive academic environment. These future Westminster graduates will benefit from the innovative Westminster Plan curriculum, and have the versatility to adapt to a changing world," according to President R. Thomas Williamson.

New students were greeted at 8 a.m. Friday by over 70 Westminster students serving as Fresh Start volunteers. The Fresh Start team will accompany the first-year students in a variety of activities during the week-long orientation, and also serve as mentors during the school year.

President Williamson and Student Government Association President Danyelle Muscarella, of Pittsburgh, Pa., provided greetings. Williamson told the future graduates that "ambiguity can lead to moments of truth." Muscarella told her classmates, "the best you can do is to seize the opportunities. The more involved you become, the more comfortable you become."

Featured speaker Dr. Clarence Harms, professor of biology at Westminster since 1969, offered advice to the students and their parents. "If you want an investment that lasts a lifetime, invest in people. Invest in your sons and daughters," Harms said. "We the faculty at Westminster are committed to making your investment pay off."

Dr. John Deegan Jr., vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College, recognized first-year scholars who have demonstrated outstanding academic performance in their pre-college studies. The Rev. Keturah Laney, chapel assistant, gave the invocation and benediction, and the Westminster Honors Brass Quintet and Chapel Organist Dr. Elizabeth Harrison performed special music. Matthew Newman, a senior from Salem, Ohio, sang the alma mater.

A reception was held in front of Orr Auditorium following Opening Convocation.

Westminster expects to enroll nearly 1,700 students in its Undergraduate, Graduate, and Lifelong Learning Programs this fall. Academic classes for all students begin Tuesday, Aug. 29.