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President’s Convocation for First-Year Students packed with memorable moments [PHOTO ESSAY]


The President's Convocation for First-Year Students – held Sunday at the Convocation Center – included lots of memorable moments as members of the OHIO community welcomed the Class of 2017 to Ohio University.

More than 4,000 first-year students – the largest freshman class yet at OHIO – were inducted into the University during the ceremony, which featured comments from President Roderick J. McDavis, the University's faculty and staff, and Katie Thoburn, a junior in the Patton College of Education. Each of them spoke about what it means to be a member of the OHIO family.

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Thoburn talked about her journey to Ohio University, saying, "I hadn't the faintest clue I was starting out on the most remarkable, challenging, rewarding journey of my life." She also offered the University's newest Bobcats advice that she gathered from seniors on campus as well as alumni. Photo by Chris Franz

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Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit kicked off her address to the Class of 2017 by taking a couple photos of the class. Photo by Ben Wirtz Siegel

"The pictures that you take are only frozen frames of the life you will build while you are here," she told the students. "And while I celebrate the artistry and utility of the digital image, I also hope you will put down your cameras to fully live in the experience of the friendships, mentorships and scholarships of your time at Ohio University. You are not just taking pictures; you are building something tangible."

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President McDavis shared with the incoming Bobcats some personal stories of his time on the Athens Campus when he was a student – stories, he said, that set the tone for what first-year convocation is all about. Photo by Chris Franz

"Today and tomorrow you start your journey to fulfill your promise," McDavis said. "You came to Ohio University for a reason not for a season. You came here because there's something in life you want to do that requires you to have a college education. You came to Ohio University to represent the dreams of your family."

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Following the convocation ceremony, the Most Exciting Band in the Land – the Ohio University Marching 110 – led the Class of 2017 in a procession up Richland Avenue and through College Gate, symbolizing the students' entry into the OHIO family. Photo by Ben Wirtz Siegel

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The President's Convocation for First-Year Students marked the first time the Class of 2017 gathered in one place. The next time they will meet? Commencement 2017. Photo by Ben Wirtz Siegel

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After passing through College Gate, the Class of 2017 was greeted by some of the University's administrators. Here, Jenny Hall-Jones, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, is seen posing for a photo with a first-year student. Photo by Ben Wirtz Siegel

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President McDavis greets a first-year student on the College Green. Photo by Ben Wirtz Siegel

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Also on hand to greet the newest members of Bobcat Nation was Rufus, OHIO’s official mascot, who was more than happy to pose for a few photos with his fellow Bobcats. Photo by Chris Franz

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Following the convocation ceremony and procession, the Class of 2017 was invited to participate in the Campus Involvement Fair held on the College Green. More than 250 campus organizations were represented at the event designed to inform students on the many ways they can become involved in the OHIO community. Among the organizations present at the event was Kappa Alpha Psi. Photo by Chris Franz

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Anthropology Club members Mark Clemente (left) and Galen Miller (center) invite first-year students to join their organization. Photo by Ben Wirtz Siegel