Wilcox Challenges the Class of 2018 to Become Active Scholars in Convocation Address

About 3,100 freshmen are formally welcomed to campus in the annual event

Kim Wilcox

Chancellor Kim Wilcox addresses the Class of 2018 at the Freshman Convocation on Sept. 30, 2014. Photo by Peter Phun

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — University of California, Riverside Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox challenged the incoming class of 2018 to not passively learn facts, but to become active scholars who create, share and challenge conventional knowledge for their lifetimes in his address at the Freshman Convocation on Tuesday, Sept. 30, in the Student Recreation Center Arena.

“You haven’t come to the University of California, Riverside, you have become part of the University of California, Riverside,” Wilcox said. “We are all here to try to figure out new things, to discover what the world can and should be like, and share that information with others. And you will be part of that.”

An estimated 2,900 freshmen filled the floor and grandstands of the Recreation Center, with another 100-200 students watching a video feed in an overflow room at the nearby MAC gym of the SRC South.

Wilcox said he hopes that when the members of the class graduate they will reflect upon “how you engaged with knowledge, the people that you challenged, the arguments that you won, the arguments that you lost, the challenges and the process as much as the content. Because 10 years from now, 20 years from now, 30 years from now, much of that information will be changed. But if you have learned to become a scholar, you’ll be fine, because you not only will be keeping up with new information, but you will be helping the world think about and create some of that information.”

Wilcox closed his address by telling the students that every year UCR strives to recruit a better class of students than the year before. If the university was successful in that regard this year, then the Class of 2018 was the best class UCR has admitted, a comment that was met by wild applause.

“But don’t get cocky, because next year’s class is coming,” he added.

The opening procession was led by the UCR Pipe Band, followed by faculty and administrators in their academic regalia. Second-year-student Kimberly McVeigh sang the National Anthem and new Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Paul D’Anieri welcomed the class and introduced the official party.

Following Wilcox’s address, official greetings were delivered by UCR Alumni Association President Daniel Kim (’89), Professor of Physics and Astronomy Jose Wudka, chair of the UCR Academic Senate, and student Nafi Karim, president of the Associated Students of UCR. Karim also led the students in reciting the Statement of Commitment, in which students commit to sharing in the search for knowledge, to show academic integrity and honesty, and to support the principles of community that lead to a respectful, cooperative and professional environment.

D’Anieri offered closing remarks and crowd joined McVeigh in singing “Hail Fair UCR,” the alma mater, before being released to the bell tower for the R’Side Celebration, which featured food and music into the night.

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