For Immediate Release – September 4, 2003



Undergrads Urged to Savor College Experience;

Make Time for "Exploration and Reflection"

GENESEO, N.Y. – Freshmen and other new students from throughout New York state and beyond were officially welcomed to the SUNY Geneseo campus on Sunday, Aug. 24, as college faculty, staff and administrators participated in the annual New Student Convocation in the Wilson Ice Arena on campus. There are approximately 950 students in the college’s incoming class.

Following a hearty welcome from Geneseo President Christopher C. Dahl, Professor of Business Administration Mary Ellen Zuckerman delivered the keynote address to the hundreds of students gathered.

"One of the things I will stress to you on your journey here at Geneseo is that you should take the time to savor and enjoy your experience," she said. "Take the time to relish the experience you are having — allow yourselves to acknowledge, feel, and understand that this is a very special time in your lives — one for exploration and reflection."

She continued: "Sometimes you will have to make choices that will take you off the common path — the path taken by most others. Most important is to find the path that is best for you, and proceed at a rate that is right for you," she urged. "Part of your journey at Geneseo will be one of internal discovery…discussions with yourself…probing the different dimensions of who you are."

Zuckerman, who serves as dean of the college’s Jones School of Business, added that students’ time at Geneseo "will be part of your overall (life) journey. You will be grappling with the perennial questions: Who am I? What do I want to do? Is this the right thing to be doing?" And this is one of the things you will both love, and find frustrating, in your education and time here at Geneseo: "there are often no easy or right answers, and you may need to hold on to several ideas simultaneously."

She added: "Keep your goals in sight on this journey, but also take the time to experience, explore and savor. Enjoy your time here, as I know you will; look to the faculty, staff and other students as your companions and guides, and know that you will take the Geneseo portion of your journey with you for the rest of your life."

As part of the convocation, students were introduced to Geneseo’s Distinguished Teaching and Distinguished Service professors, all of whom hold the highest ranks in the State University of New York; the holders of honorary named professorships; and several members of the college’s administration.

Introduced from the platform were Interim Provost David Gordon; Vice President for College Advancement Art Hatton; Associate Vice President for Enrollment Services Bill Caren; Vice President for Student and Campus Life Bob Bonfiglio; Distinguished Teaching Professors William Cook (history), Ronald Herzman (English), Margaret Matlin (psychology), Eugene Stelzig (English), Gary Towsley (mathematics) and Stephen West (mathematics); Distinguished Service Professors James Walker (music) and Richard Young (geological sciences); James and Julia Lockhart Professor Harold Hoops (biology); Dr. Robert W. MacVittie Professor Donald Marozas (school of education); Dr. Spencer J. Roemer Professor Christopher Leary (mathematics); Geneseo Alumni Professor Kurt Fletcher (physics); Geneseo Foundation Professor Daniel Strang (school of business); Chair of the College Senate Charles Freeman (physics); and Jim Rogers, president, Student Association.

Approximately 125 faculty and staff participated in the convocation’s processional.

Following Zuckerman’s remarks, Geneseo Chamber singer Katherine Starkweather led faculty, staff and students in singing the alma mater. Jack Johnston, associate professor and chair of the School of Performing Arts, performed the processional and recessional on keyboards, and backed up Starkweather, a sophomore, in her performance.

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