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Westminster welcomes 166th academic year with Opening Convocation

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Posted on Friday, August 24, 2018

NEW WILMINGTON, PA – Westminster College welcomed the class of 2022 at the annual Opening Convocation ceremony on Friday, Aug. 24, in Orr Auditorium, where President Kathy Brittain Richardson urged the new students to embrace the College’s commitment to community, academic excellence and character.

Westminster is a place where everyone within the campus community works to ensure student success and growth, Richardson told the 385 new first-years and their families.

“I hope you will embrace this idea of connection, collaboration and experience as you begin your walk as a student here,” said Richardson. “This is your start, your new beginning, your opportunity to explore, to grow and to achieve.”

Dr. Kristin Park, professor of sociology, offered the keynote address and said that while Westminster’s mission is to develop disciplined, critical thinkers and global citizens, building a sense of self is equally as important.

“Civic engagement reminds us that, in developing your intellect, don’t neglect your heart, your character and your spirit. We will help develop you as a whole person,” she said, reminding students that while they are developing their “resume character,” it’s not too early to also begin developing their “eulogy character”—what “people will talk about when celebrating your life.”

“Equipped with a discerning mind, a warm heart, gratitude for life’s gifts, creativity, appreciation for the physical and moral beauty in the world, perseverance, courage, curiosity, integrity, and whatever other qualities you choose to embrace, you will write your own story while at Westminster,” Park said.

Also offering greetings were Dr. Jeffrey S. Coker, dean of the College and vice president for academic affairs, and Sarah Conn, student government president and senior biology major.

First-year students arrived on campus early Friday morning and were greeted by nearly 100 upperclass orientation leaders, football players, and chapel volunteers who helped unload cars and move belongings into residence halls.

Aside from Pennsylvania and Ohio, students hailed from Florida, West Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Michigan, Georgia, Alaska, Kentucky, Indiana, California, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C.

The most popular majors among this year’s class are biology, nursing, business, sports management and education.